These two books have the same title: The Word Collector. Both authors – Sonja Wimmer and Peter H. Reynolds – are primarily illustrators, so both have beautiful pictures that tell the story. Both have the same message: words are important, and are meant to be shared.
In Sonja’s book, Luna’s magnificent, fun words disappear because people are too busy. She puts all her words in a suitcase, flies over the world, and scatters words of brotherhood, love and tolerance where there is hatred and violence. She scatters words of friendship and compassion where people are sad and lonely. Soon, her suitcase is empty – but she discovers that people are sharing the words, letting them fly among them. This makes her joyful and happy. The point of collecting is to share!
In Peter’s book, Jerome collects the words he hears, sees and reads. Words that are marvelous to say even if he doesn’t yet know what they mean. When he slips while carrying his huge collection, the words go flying and become jumbled. Jerome begins to string words together into poems. He learns that the simplest words – like ‘Thank you’ and ‘you matter’ – are the most powerful.
Jerome climbs a big hill and lets his words fly into the wind. Soon, children in the valley below collect his words – which makes Jerome happy. The point of collecting words is to share them!
Both books encourage us to seek our own words, and then use them to make the world a better place.
As an author and poet who has been a word geek since I was a little girl, that is just what I try to do – use my words to make the world a better place.