My Words

HarperCollins. Oct. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062907806.
PreS-Gr 1–A child explores her love of words in this very simple ode to language development. In short rhyming stanzas, a child with paper white skin and brown curly hair declares, “I love words” and that “Words are ideas that break free and take flight.” She shows her linguistic progress from a baby babbling in onomatopoeia, to a child of four or five writing a story for a read-aloud to her stuffed animals. The rhymes are short and neat, enhanced perfectly by the illustrations, with a great deal of humor. One spread shows the child calling four very different objects/animals “guck,” and on another she offers a bone to both a dog and a baby, saying “woof.” While the cartoonlike illustrations, similar to those of Judy Horacek’s, float mostly in white space, Snider varies the composition and uses the words themselves to add colorful dynamics. The shade of sky blue is a motif throughout, and though the child grows, her red outfit and hair bow remain a constant. While the illustrative and writing styles are best suited to enjoy with toddlers and preschoolers, the idea of exploring language development may be lost on them.
VERDICT A celebration of a child’s love of words, this should have a place on the shelves of many collections.

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