Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Boy Who Loved Words

Schotter, Roni (Author)
Potter, Giselle (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2006. 36 pages
First published: 2006
ISBN: 9780375836012 (hardcover)
9780307983190 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

dialogue, evocative language, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Set in New York City and geared toward older readers, this is the quirky tale of an affable oddball and outcast named Selig who loves—and collects—words the way other boys do shells, stones or feathers. When a genie appears to him in a prophetic dream and imbues him with a sense of purpose, Selig sets out on a mission to share his passion for language with a poet and a baker, among others.

Fluid, playful illustrations, rendered in pencil, ink, gouache, gesso, watercolour and collage, complement this whimsical story that uses italics and contextual clues to introduce rich and colourful new vocabulary on every page.

A glossary at the end provides the definitions of some 70 words that make an appearance in the story, making this book an excellent tool for vocabulary building or enrichment, or for stimulating creative writing activities based on favourite words.

  •  

    Talk about different kinds of collections. What do you collect? What is your passion?

  •  

    Select interesting words from the book and sort them into nouns or adjectives. How else could the words be categorized?

  •  Write a Haiku poem, using one or more of the words from the book as a starting point.
  •  

    Use the book as a springboard to learn about root words, prefixes and suffixes.

  •  

    Practise using a thesaurus for some of the words in the story.

  •  

    Talk about different kinds of collections. What do you collect? What is your passion? How would you feel about being ridiculed, called geek or oddball if you collected something unusual?

  •  

    In pairs or small groups, look at Selig’s collection of words and sort them into categories such as action words, quality words, cooking words, etc.

  •  

    Choose ten favorite words and explain to a partner why you like them.

  •  

    Find cognates (words that are similar in French and in English).

  •  Write descriptive sentences using the words scattered about on the cover of the book.
  •  Create your own categories and organize Selig’s words. Highlight those that are cognates.
  •  In teams, create a vocabulary matching game: a new word from the book on one card, its definition on the other. Play the game, then trade games with another team.
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Media Literacy
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development