Something a little different for the favorite new picture book list today. A poetry book. Specifically about books and words. A collection of poems that speak to and ignite the enthusiasm for reading and writing and loving words. And stunning, vibrant illustrations to captivate the imagination like words capture the tongue and mind. Feel the draw of words with Bookjoy Wordjoy by Pat Mora, illustrations by Raul Colón, 2018.

What is it about?

The book opens with a note of welcome from author Pat Mora. It is a lovely letter describing how much Mora loves words, and especially poems. She encourages the reader to play and explore and experience words. This book is her gift to readers about the joy of reading (bookjoy), and about the fun of listening to words (wordjoy). She wants us to delight, but also to go write.

Why I picked it

This is an incredibly beautiful and unique book. The poems are special, lilting and descriptive, secretive and inviting. And the illustrations, wow. There is so much texture and movement and bold color. Often when you think of illustrations about reading, you picture quaint, sweet, static images. Not Colón’s style of reading! These illustrations have impact. The characters are enveloped in their reading, writing, and experiencing words. There is energy and heart felt in these illustrations.

Who will love this?

Bibliophiles and all book nerds are surefire recipients for this book. Children who are learning to go deeper in writing need to hear these poems. Anyone who loves reading, or powerful illustrations will be entranced by this book. Anyone. And I’m a strong advocate for reading poetry often with children. Over the summer, we often read a poem at lunch together. Poetry is such a beautiful art form. It should be used so much more.

Bonus Gift Pairings

This book begs for a notepad and pen to go along with it. Maybe even a set of paints as any illustrator will be inspired by Colón’s work here. I could also picture a dictionary or thesaurus, always useful despite the rise of the internet. It’s so much more helpful and less distracting to look up words in a real book!

See you tomorrow for the next book from this year in my 25 Days of Favorite New Picture Books countdown!