Word Builder
  • Alternative view 1 of Word Builder
  • Alternative view 2 of Word Builder
  • Alternative view 3 of Word Builder
<Previous >Next

Word Builder

by Ann Whitford Paul, Kurt Cyrus
     
 


Begin your new construction with twenty-six letters...

Where would a sentence be without words? And what's a word without letters? Just like when constructing a building, you have to build your words from the ground up!

Foreman Kurt Cyrus brings architect Ann Whitford Paul's poem to incredible heights with vivid illustrations that will

…  See more details below

Overview


Begin your new construction with twenty-six letters...

Where would a sentence be without words? And what's a word without letters? Just like when constructing a building, you have to build your words from the ground up!

Foreman Kurt Cyrus brings architect Ann Whitford Paul's poem to incredible heights with vivid illustrations that will make everyone want to be a word builder!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Construction devotees will adore the first half of this tall-format book, ostensibly about building: Cyrus (Tangle Town) combines ginormous-scaled, blocky images with loving detail (the ropiness of poured concrete, the tangle of cord attached to a jackhammer's air compressor). They'll also envy the boy in the hardhat who's confidently doing all the work. But readers may have trouble figuring out what exactly is being built. The concept: words, sentences and paragraphs are the building blocks of books. But as the components are absorbed into the whole, they lose their distinctiveness, and the end product-a vaguely Mediterranean fairy-tale village to illustrate "a whole world of book"-is disappointing. Paul's (The Seasons Sewn) poem presents another problem. The short lines impede narrative momentum, and the figures of speech ("Mortar each sentence/ with punctuation,/ then frame your sentences/ into paragraph villages") may be too abstract for this audience. Ages 5-7. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Constructing words, sentences, even books is here compared to the literal, physical construction of villages and cities, in both succinct but poetic words and dramatic visuals. Only a few words of text go across the double pages, as the building begins with the twenty-six letters of the alphabet being jack hammered into words. The words are piled into sentence towers, some to be measured tall and some to be sawed short. Punctuation is the mortar. Sentences are then framed into "paragraph villages" and the paragraphs are stacked into "chapter cities." "Keep on building…" we are urged, "until you have created…a whole world of book." On the final double page, we look over the shoulder of a worker to see a book. Across its crowded pages' cityscape, a train pulls the letters of "Once upon a time." These large pages are crowded with the crisply shaped letters and the machines and workers that assemble them. Pencil drawings are digitally flooded with color. The result is a sequence of complex scenes cleverly designed to demonstrate how letters are the metaphysical building blocks of stories and even books. The fact that this is real, physical labor is emphasized. The jacket shows the title's sculptured words being manipulated into place, setting the stage for the inspirational fantasy inside. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

Letters are hammered into words, words are turned into towering sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into "chapter cities" in this construction-themed introduction to the craft of writing. Paul's spare text allows the illustrations to take center stage and Cyrus takes the cue, showing himself to be a master of perspective in one awe-inspiring layout after another. Ultimately, a little construction worker has created a whole world inside a book. Finally finished, he opens it to see a train carrying the letters "Once upon a time." Word Builder will provide teachers with a great introduction to writing, especially for children just beginning to put words and sentences together. Preschoolers will be drawn to the construction motif, regardless of the subject. Though vaguely reminiscent of Denise Fleming's Alphabet Under Construction (Holt, 2002), this title goes beyond the basic alphabet book premise and has none of the cutesiness of that work.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
While the idea behind this visually dazzling effort has great potential, the execution may leave some feeling disappointed. In the world Paul and Cyrus have created, an androgynous construction worker hammers enormous letters into words, then piles the words into sentence towers that are held together with punctuation mortar. Framing organizes sentences into paragraphs, while stacked paragraphs create chapter cities. "Keep on building . . . until you have created . . . a whole world of book." The pencil-and-digital artwork varies in perspective from extreme wide-angle to super-close-up views, maximizing the impact of the illustrations and the construction theme. However, for the purposes of teaching children about writing, a preponderance of wide-angle views might have been in order. While the text describes sentence towers and their punctuation mortar, readers never get to see a completed one. And beyond the sentence level, the buildings simply look like tall houses with a letter at the roofline. The final illustration is masterful-the view over the construction worker's shoulder at the completed book, peopled with characters and full of action. For abstract thinkers, this could be a powerful tool. (Picture book. 7-10)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416939818
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
02/24/2009
Edition description:
First
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Kurt Cyrus has illustrated numerous acclaimed picture books celebrating the natural world, including What in the World?: Numbers in Nature by Nancy Raines Day; Mammoths on the Move by Lisa Wheeler; and his own Tadpole Rex and The Voyage of Turtle Rex. Kurt lives with his wife in McMinnville, Oregon. Visit him at KurtCyrus.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >