Help! All of the words in Noah Webster’s dictionary are bored, so they make a break for it and the word parade begins.
Welcome to Hollyword, land of anthropomorphic words. The self-centered I is the grand marshal, together with the 34-letter “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (hyphenated three times to fit on the page). “The action verbs LOVE to show off” (there are “bounce,” “spin,” “ricochet,” and “jump,” among others). The “no-action contractions NEED SOME HELP,” as they’re a pretty defeatist bunch: “he couldn’t,” “she won’t,” “we didn’t.” Homophones tango by twos and threes, and “archaic words strut their SHAKESPEARE” with yummy entries such as “Garboil,” “Pismire,” “Sackbut,” and “Yerk.” (A closing glossary helps with these and other unfamiliar words.) Anagrams, antonyms, palindromes, rhyming words, conjunctions, and interjections also each have a double-page spread, the lively letters acting out the definitions. The palette of the digital illustrations uses orange, turquoise, and olive green to highlight the actions. Eye dots, smile lines, and wiggly arms and legs animate the letters. Exuberant and energetic design enlivens the letters as they bounce and frolic across the pages, minimalist compositions adding occasional details to amp up the fun: a crocodile-green “Nile” floats down a river; the A in “READ” holds open a book for its neighboring letters to enjoy.
Teachers will have field day with this wordplay; this caper is clever, capricious, and cunning. (Picture book. 6-10)