The Art of Words – Children’s Books

Mim Cohen roams the world in a travelling bookshop, with her dad and brother and a horse called Flossy.

From award-winning author, Katrina Nannestad and beloved illustrator Cheryl Orsini comes an enchanting series for young readers.

I love Katrina’s style of writing. I adore her play on words and how each chapter heading brims with words like “Waffles and Worms”, “Pink Things Good and Bad”, “Sludge and Grubs and Double Trouble.”

I have just finished reading The Travelling Bookshop Mim and the Baffling Bully.

Rather than tell you the plot, I am interested in the way words empower, enthuse and capture emotions.

Chapter Two starts with “Termites, tea cosies and three legged sheep.”

Imaginative. Fun and Childlike.

Words are treasures to find and use. “There’s a happy memory wrapped up in these words,”

“I collect letters,” says Nat. Postcards, love letters.

Words that end in “ous” – curious, strenuous, anxious, righteous, oblivious, bulbous.

This book is a must read for parents to child ( ages 6+) with its cast of characters and themes of overcoming adversity, bullying and friendship. Her other titles of The Girl, the Dog and the Writer have been very popular.

‘We are Wolves” is shortlisted for the CBCA awards shortly. Brilliant, emotional and penetrating. The story revolves around the Wolf family, Liesel, Otto, Mia their baby sister who find themselves lost and alone as they search for their parents in the middle of a war zone. Older readers from 10+ will read it perhaps with a tear.

To contrast these well written books, I found a picture book by Robert Vescio called The Art of Words.

Illustrated boldly by Joanna Bartel, the pages are filled with colourful words, shortened words, words that shout ( with an exclamation mark) plain words and words that string together like ” droplets of dew on a silky web.” The pictures do tell the story. Great for teachers who would like to introduce grammar, such as punctuation and full stops.

With Children’s book Week fast approaching after August 21, it’s a good reminder to share with children the power, meaning and beauty in words. Delicious, gooey gooey words. I hope this week, your kind words will POP.

illustrations by Cheryl Orsini

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M.J. Gibbs
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