Fun with Language
Recently someone asked me about my writing routine. As I was responding to her email, listing the times I squeeze writing into the day, I added this line:
I remember I’m doing this because I like to write. The minute it’s lost its joy is the minute I know I something needs to change.
It’s important that our writing workshops are filled with joy too. One way to do this is to have fun with language. Here are four books I’m chomping at the bit to share with students, just so we can enjoy words together. In this time of mandates and have-to’s, I’m committing to keeping the joy in writing workshop.
Wumbers, wri10 by Amy Krouse Rosenthal + illustr8ed by Tom Lichtenheld, is a whimsical book where numbers help letters make words. It’s typical Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld fun. (You know them from Duck! Rabbit!) Plus it’s from Chronicle Books. I’m always thrilled to receive a book from Chronicle, because I’m drawn to the charm of their books. Check out the video and begin imagining how much joy this book will bring to your writing workshop.
Previously by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman is a story that starts with Goldilocks arriving home (“all hot and bothered”) and working backwards to the “once upon a time.” It’s fun to see the way different fairy tales are linked, traveling previously to Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, The Frog Prince, Cinderella, The Gingerbread Boy, and then to when they were little babies…the start of the world…once upon a time. The craft of the words and the pictures work together to make you want to read this book again and again. I’m intrigued by the clever structure of the story, and it makes me want to write just because it’s fun to make words work in clever ways.
Edwin Speaks Up by April Stevens and Sophie Blackall is a book about the youngest child in a family of four. His mom is crazy and he’s trying to help during their trip to he grocery store by “speaking up.” His babbling is more than nonsense, as the reader knows, but his family doesn’t. I appreciate the illustrations and would use them as mentors for young writers during an illustration study.
Sophie Blackall also illustrated Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath. In this humorous mystery (written by Mrs. Bunny and translated from Rabbit by Polly Horvath), Madeline’s parents have gone missing. Luckily she runs into Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, who have just taken up detective work and are willing to come to her aid. It’s a story of loops and laughs, and it reminds me to have fun with words!
Sophie Blackall also illustrated the Ivy + Bean series. Check out this post about the upcoming Ivy + Bean Day and lots of celebration and giveaways going on around the blog world!
How about you? What are you reading? Join Jen and Kellee plus others for…