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The Word Collector

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  3,777 ratings  ·  620 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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Justin nothing happens next.
nothing happens next.
TS My 4 yo likes it. He's not quite a reader.…moreMy 4 yo likes it. He's not quite a reader.(less)

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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  3,777 ratings  ·  620 reviews

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I am a person who loves words. I love those word-a-day calendars as a kid. I thought it was fun to try and find ways to use that word during the day. When I am reading, I do like to pick up new words and phrases. My problem is I don’t write them down and I do forget them rather quickly now. Anyway, this book is about people who collect things. Jerome just happens to collect words he loves. He has scrapbooks and notebooks full of words organized into category and subject. One day, he drops all th ...more
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.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful and great book, a perfect illustrations of the power of words...
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was so beautiful.

I just can't ignore the reading done by Obamas.
Read by Barack and Michelle Obama.
The story is gorgeous and, of course, read by this amazing pair with their clear, beautiful voices amplified the experience.

How I miss them.

Link to the video
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
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
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
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
Scottsdale Public Library
I really like using this book as an example of expansive vocabulary when I am doing storytime. I've taken it to my children's school and a read-aloud and then added in some vocabulary activities like vocab guessing games (using the words from the book), or (re)naming a color, or found word poems. The instructional options for this book are truly limitless. Other great vocabulary building books are Animalia by Graeme Base, 13 Words by Lemony Snicket, and The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spire ...more
Rita Shaffer
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The power of words! Cute story to show the importance words hold.
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
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The importance and beauty of words and how putting some together can be powerful and poetic!
Katt 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. ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jerome collects words.

Serendipitously he drops his words. He makes poetry.

"Some of his simplest words were his most
powerful." "I understand." "I'm sorry."
"Thank you." "You matter."

One day he empties his collection into the wind.

These are the words I use to describe this book.
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? ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
so cute!! Makes me want to start my own word collection..........;)
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOved it and all the lovely, beautiful, and interesting words. A great book to share.
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A delightful story delightfully read by Michelle & Barack Obama. Yes, words matter!
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved every minute of this book.
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
Emily Keebler
1. Today we will be reading about a collector. A collector is a person who likes to keep a lot of a certain thing, called a collection. I like to collect books, for example. Collectors often spend time taking care of their collection. For example, I like to keep my books in a certain order. While we read let's see what is being collected and how it is being taking care of.
2. Provide important background information, share a personal connection.
3. I chose to provide background information about
Carol  V
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
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, black
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.
Ms. Arca
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read it. I got chills / teared up a bit. I bought it. I know so many black and brown men/humans like this (word collectors and thinkers!) in my life, and I LOVE seeing them represented. It felt like reading about my loved ones and celebrating how delightfully bright they are.. It’s that moment of representation when it hurts and feels good because the weight hits you that you haven’t gotten to see that reflected to you yet. I love this book. Keepsies. Everyone should have this one for keepsies ...more
Anna Louise Kallas
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.
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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. ...more

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