Cultural Book Review

Bookjoy, Wordjoy

Lee & Low Books | ISBN 978 1620142868


Come share the fun of collecting words, reading favorite books, writing poems, and sharing secrets. Be inspired to embark on your own joyous adventures with language at home, at school, at the library — anywhere and everywhere!

Pat Mora’s playful, enchanting poetry invites us all to experience the excitement of reading and writing, while captivating illustrations by Raúl Colón interpret the magic of the verses. Together the poems and artwork are sure to create bookjoy and wordjoy in readers and writers of all ages.

Drawn from Mora’s experience as an educator, author, and literacy advocate, Bookjoy, Wordjoy is a collection of poems that encourage children to find imagination, play, and power in the literature they read. Poems vary in style and incorporate both English and Spanish, celebrating the linguistic diversity of today’s readers.

Pat Mora, Author

Vivid illustrations by Pura Belpré Award winner Raúl Colón bring the poems to life, interpreting the power of language in a style influenced by Mexican painter, Rufino Tamayo.

Raúl Colón, Illustrator


A children’s book of poetry, Bookjoy, Wordjoyencourages a game with words, rhymes, and languages for readers of all ages. Learning languages and building vocabularies can be daunting, however playing with words is a fun way to exercise language skills, broaden vocabulary, and create a wonder for the evolution of languages and cultures.

As with poetry books, readers have favorites. Books and Me, Happy Visits, and Antelope Canyonare three that I especially enjoy. The first two of these mix in a Spanish word or two. Though I was hoping for more. Six of fourteen poems have only a sprinkle of Spanish terms and words of interjection that draw my attention as a parent of bilingual children and as a language educator. Perhaps I anticipate a bilingual children’s book such as this one to have a more equal amount of vocabulary in both languages. It would be an even more fun word play.

Colón’s illustrations are beautifully creative and colorful, adding to the imaginative play with words. In particular, Collective Words gives readers a fun example of combining language with art. How does a word, its letters, look like? Hmm…

Bookjoy, Wordjoy, another fun and creative way to word play.

Teresa CarbajalRavet

Written by

Chief Culturist at SV Cultural Hub | Cultural Communication | Mothering 5 Bicultural Souls

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