Author: Brook Smith
Illustrated by: Madeline Kloepper
A touching tale of a grandmother and her granddaughter exploring and cherishing the natural world.
Words, the woods, and the world illuminate this quest to save the most important pieces of our language—by saving the very things they stand for.
When Mimi finds out her favorite words—simple words, like apricot, blackberry, buttercup—are disappearing from the English language, she elects her granddaughter Brook as their Keeper. And did you know? The only way to save words is to know them.
• With its focus on the power of language and social change, The Keeper of Wild Words is ideal for educators and librarians as well as young readers.
• For any child who longs to get outside and learn more about nature and the environment
• A loving portrait of the special relationship that grandparents have with their grandchildren
At the end of this book, American author Brooke Smith explains her inspiration for this book, which originated with a news article that angered her. The article listed words that would no longer be in the Oxford Junior Dictionary and included over a hundred words related to nature and the wild. Even more upsetting to her was the fact that words such as “chatroom”, “database”, and “MP3 player” were being introduced. With an emphasis on technology leaving the wild world behind, it is understandable why such a book is needed for our young readers. Enhanced by Canadian Madeline Kloepper's stunning artwork, created in mixed media and Photoshop, the message about the importance of the natural world is threaded throughout.
Brooke Smith is a poet and children's book author. She lives in Bend, Oregon, at the end of a long cinder lane. Brooke writes daily from her studio, looking at the meadow and many of the wild words she cherishes.
Madeline Kloepper is a Canadian artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Major in Illustration from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her work is influenced by childhood, nostalgia, and the relationships we forge with nature. She lives in Prince George, British Columbia.
“[In The Keeper of Wild Words] Kloepper's soft illustrations feature green and brown earth tones that frame the white, matte pages; bursts of red, purple, and other spot colors enliven the scenes… Sensory details allow the protagonist to hear, see, smell, taste, and hold the wild… The last page forms an envelope for readers' own vocabulary collections. Sweet—and savory.”
“[T]touching, poetic, noble… The best use of [The Keeper of Wild Words] is to take children out on a nature hunt to collect and/or identify said listed items. Using the large envelope at the end of the book is a good way to make a keepsake of the experience.”
—School Library Journal