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The Word Collector

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  2,300 ratings  ·  385 reviews
Some people collect stamps.
Some people collect coins.
Some people collect art.
And Jerome?
Jerome collected words . . .

In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him -- short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower.

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Orchard Books
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Joy I'm not an early childhood expert, but I would say ~5-7 years old (K-1).

Community Reviews

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4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,300 ratings  ·  385 reviews

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Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Words tend to either erect or obliterate boundaries between human beings. Thankfully, this is a book about forming bonds in the most unusual way.

Jerome collected words.

Whereas most of Jerome's peers collect video games, cards, devices, etc., his goal is to collect as many words as he can. The acts of reading and searching for meaning become essential for his growth and well-being because he wants them to be like that. He found joy in what others usually perceive as being frivolous, and it genuin
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I really loved the beginning of this book - and even the middle! (Get this kid a magnetic poetry set, stat!) I love that he started stringing words together and making poetry and songs.

But then... it got a little....preachy? It became much less a story about a "real" boy who liked to learn new words and more about an allegorical boy who changed the world, one word at a time. Which... if it had *started* like that, it wouldn't have annoyed me at all. But as written, it was a little jarring.
Such a wonderful and great book, a perfect illustrations of the power of words...
David Schaafsma
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a comment and it may (or may not) affect my overall rating. This is book #8 (of 20) of 2018, and yet another example of my separation from my own family on some of these books. This is the first year this is happening, dunno why. In spite of my low, (mean) personal review, I upped the rating to reflect the family reading.

Tara: 5 stars. I love this! L
Liza Fireman
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: shelf-2018
This was a sweet sweet book about words, and about Jerome who collects words.
Words are little gems, and collects and organizes them. And then he fell and all of his words went flying. He starts stringing them together and playing with them with less order. In the end he sends them to the wind. And other kids are starting to play with them.
One of the best books that I know is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. It is so much better than any other elementary school age (and above). It is play
In this picture book, Peter H. Reynolds does for words and literacy exactly what he's accomplished with his previous titles on art, he makes them cool and wraps them in a clever, philosophical package.
Jerome collects words, and he even organizes them into categories. But an accident leads to the realization that sometimes words that seem to have no relationship to each other actually gain new meaning when placed by different, unrelated words. Not only does he start to realize the power of words
Amy Oberts
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The premise of Reynolds' most recent picture book is intriguing...and older listeners and readers are sure to be captivated by the various words Jerome collects, as well as their pronunciations and definitions. Unfortunately, the second half of the story doesn't quite match the authenticity of its beginning; the parting message is a familiar chorus rampant throughout most of Reynold's tales. The illustrations are whimsical and inviting, inclusive and diverse...but, unfortunately, the story as a ...more
Kristine Hansen
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm calling this book poetry because it speaks to my soul in that way.

The main story is about a boy who collects words. It's how the words are kept, expressed, and strung together that matter. I was enraptured by reading the words scattered on the page, and I Loved how the pairings sang. I want to collect words too, and see what happens when you throw them down together in a happy jumble.

We won't worry too much about how much littering occurred with all those words in the wind. :)

This is such
Nadine Jones
Dec 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: children-s
Really disappointing. I read this aloud (to my 15 year old daughter) and partway through I started adding snarky asides about how this kid is really annoying and LITTERING - stop throwing your little bits of paper all over, Jerome! That's LITTER! Stop it! Also, poetry and music is more than just random words strung together; I thought it was weird to imply that you will naturally become a beloved poet and musician just because you collect words.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The importance and beauty of words and how putting some together can be powerful and poetic!
Rita Shaffer
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The power of words! Cute story to show the importance words hold.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-picture
I can't really recommend this book to anyone because of the ending. While the beginning would rate a 4, the end was a huge mistake that I am sorry other readers have ignored. Really littering is okay to teach children? Really Peter H. Reynolds couldn't think of an alternate ending?
Apr 20, 2018 added it
Shelves: reviewed-books
Peter H. Reynolds creates a character, Jerome, who has a special interest in collecting words. In "The Word Collector," Jerome is constantly picking up words to add to his collection. This story is in the fantasy genre and would be best suited for grades kindergarten through third. Within this story there are many exciting words, some that would be familiar to the reader and some that are brand new. Throughout the story, Jerome shows the reader all the many places one can collect words. Just by ...more
Baby Bookworm
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds, a love letter to the power and passion of words.

Jerome, like many kids his age, loves to collect. But while others may collect comic books or stamps, Jerome collects words. Words he hears, words he reads, words that sound funny or appealing, words he doesn’t know the meaning of yet, short words, long words, descriptive w
Kristi Bernard
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Words are a wonderful thing. Without them we wouldn’t have self-expression, identify our favorite foods or even say hello to a friend. But, can words be collected like stamps, coins or even art? Of course, they can according to Jerome.

Whenever Jerome here’s a word that sounds interesting, he would write it down on a piece of paper. Jerome was a word collector and he loved it. He liked the word Willow from a poster at a tea shoppe. He wrote down Emerald after reading The Wizard of Oz. He thought
Carol  Vanhook
The Word Collector written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. The text and word pictures were designed by the author.

Jerome, the main character, is a collector of words. He has created books and books of word cards. These books are arranged in categories. One day, he slips, and the words cards go flying.

From the jumble, Jerome realizes he can mix words to make poem and songs that will make other people happy. The words in this book are interesting and many are even challenging. Students can
This clever picture book would be great to share with young readers who love learning new words. And for those children who maybe aren’t particularly interested in vocabulary, this book certainly would inspire them to read and listen a little more closely. The little boy in this story loves collecting all sorts of words. He organizes them and makes special boxes and scrapbooks for them. When an accident mixes the words up, Jerome sees an opportunity to create new stories, poems, and songs. This ...more
Anna Louise
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about the power of words. The illustrations are so wonderful and so welcome to see the main character as someone who is brown and is valued in the story (it is so sad how infrequent this is). I love this story, the words, the bright colorful clothes the characters wear, and the engaging imagery the illustrations tell. I also love the last page of the book and the question it poses to the reader.
Ruth Ann
This is a joyful story about words and the boy, Jerome, who collects them and, ultimately shares them.
At first, he keeps his words organized. One day, he slips and his notebooks of organized words go flying and become "jumbled."
"Words he had not imagined being
side by side..."
become poetry and music.
And this is not the end of Jerome's story.
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-vivian
I loved this book! We got it from the library but I'll be buying a copy to keep on my daughter's bookshelf. Peter H. Reynolds is just great and this book is all about the joys of language. It was the perfect title to read during Poetry Month.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Peter Reynolds' picture books, and as a "word nerd," the story of a boy who collects words that he likes the sound of, or that "jump off the page," really resonates with me. My fave of his so far.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book that gives you the warm and fuzzies particularly when you are a word collector yourself. Who doesn’t love words and their meanings and sounds and significance? Jerome is such a boy and when he collects, they get jumbled up in a fall, but then he realizes there is nothing better than releasing them for everyone else to enjoy.

It’s heartwarming and illustrated with an appreciation for words and the character. Plus the colors are to die for. I’m certainly adding a few to my HS collection.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great teaching tool for my middle school students!
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the worlds (and words!) of Reynolds
Catie Currie
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I can't believe I just teared up reading a picture book, but I did
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
So far this has been our least favourite of the Goodreads Choice Awards nominees. It isn’t that it’s not good, because it’s quite interesting as ideas go, that collecting ewords would lead to poetry and then sharing the words with others. But the other books have been so good and this is only good. The diversity of the children is excellent and the variety of words Jerome collects is fun.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reynolds just makes lovely feel good stories. This one centres on Jerome, he collects words, all sorts. I enjoy that the words are not all simple, how else can you learn new ones? Poems, stories and songs are as varied and have power.
Diane Bowden
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Saint Jerome is the patron of librarians and encyclopedists. The book touched me deeply.
Chance Lee
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-it
Same premise as Max's Words by Kate Banks but with more charming artwork and a story that focuses more on poetry and the power of words, not necessarily the creation of stories.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While it’s not about poetry, it’s such a gem to open a poetry unit talking about the power of words. Peter H Reynolds has another marvelous hit on his hands.
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Peter Hamilton Reynolds is an author and illustrator of children's books and is the co-Founder and CEO of educational media company FableVision.