One Word Pearl
by Nicole Groeneweg; illustrated by Hazel Mitchell
32 pages; for word-loving kids of all ages
Mackinac Island/Charlesbridge Publishing, 2013
Pearl loved words. Some kids collect stamps or stones or skate keys. But Pearl collected words. She “…strung words together like beads on a necklace and stored them in a treasure chest.”
One day something horrible happens, and the words whirl and swirl and get lost in a big wind. Pearl manages to slam her treasure chest closed and capture a few. But there are not many left – not even enough to make a story. So Peal rations them out, one word at a time.
I love how author Nichole Groeneweg plays with the words Pearl manages to save. There are twirly, whirly, swirly words, and hoppity, floppity words. There are skippity words, and flippity words, frilly words and silly words. I love how Hazel Mitchell incorporates snippets of words into her illustrations. There are fancy words and block-letter words and words that spiral around or hop up and down.
And then one day the treasure chest is empty. There are No Words Left. How will Pearl make it through a day without speaking a single word? Or an hour?
There’s only one hope left for Pearl – she has to face the mussed up mess of the word tornado. And when she does, her words flow.
If you are the sort of person who cuts words out and glues them into art, or makes poetry out of magnetic word tiles, or harbors a secret can of words scribbled on bits of neon index cards in the back of your closet – then you will identify with Pearl, the “word girl”.
Review copy provided by the publisher.