**Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own**
Sticks and stones can break my bonesBut words can break my heart. Words are powerful. They have the ability to build up or tear down. We need to learn to make good choices about the words we use. This is the theme in a new book called Words by Lora Rozler.
In this emotional and highly visual picture book, a lonely letter sets off on a journey to find meaning. As it encounters various letter combinations, it is confronted by two distinct paths and must make an important choice. Readers of all ages will be captivated by this simple, yet high concept, rich story that explores universal themes of discovery, relationships and the need to belong, with an underlying message about bullying. Both timeless and original, Words is an evocative tale about how letters become words and words create meaning - meaning which could ultimately build or destroy. Lora Rozler is an elementary school teacher from Toronto, so knows firsthand the issues that children are tackling.
What we thought
As soon as the book arrived, I sat down with my sons to read it. They are in grades 4 and 2 and ages 9 and 7. “I really liked it! I really liked the pictures because everything is done with letters!” This is definitely a book that an adult needs to read with children. There are a lot of big words, and my 9 year old had a lot of questions about what the words meant. When I showed the book to an elementary school teacher friend, she said this book would be best read with students in grade 5 and older. Younger children sometimes don't yet know their letters and how words are formed.But, in the end, my boys understood the concept. “We need to make good choices about the words we use.” “Some people like you for the bad things you say, but they aren’t real friends.”
Using the Book WORDS
This is a wonderful book that would be perfect to use at the beginning of the year with a group of children. On the first few days of school, with your Girl Guide or Boy Scout Troup, in Sunday School, in your after school program… anywhere older kids are gathered together. Read the book together. Discuss the meaning of the words. Ask the kids what the moral of the story is. But then take it another step further. This is an activity that I used to do with my Girl Guide units at the beginning of the year and it fits well with the book. On a big sheet of paper, trace once of the children. (We just traced a big stuffed animal!)Decorate it to make it look like a person. Inside the person, write all the words that represent being a good person. Use words found in the Words. Friendly, kind, including people, etcOutside the person write words that don’t make a good person. Use words from Words. Hurtful, bully, excluding people, etc. Hang this poster in your meeting area for a few weeks to remind yourselves how to treat one another.Words by Lora Rozler is available on Amazon.