March 5, 2020


The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith and Madeline Kloepper is the sweet story of a grandmother and granddaughter exploring nature and sharing a special day together.

Brook and her grandmother Mimi are best friends, and they enjoy talking about nature and exploring the outdoors together. Brook comes over to visit one day to ask Mimi what she should bring to show-and-tell on her first day of school, and Mimi tells her that she also needs help: her words are disappearing, and she needs help making more. Mimi creates a list of things for them to find and makes Brook the keeper of their wild words before setting out to find the items on the list.

Klopper's mixed media and Photoshopped illustrations are delicate but chockfull of color. We see blackberries and minnows and a massive flock of starlings, all delicately portrayed against a white background. The whiteness allows every hue to pop right off the page as readers organically learn about poppies and wrens and acorns. Each word is highlighted in a color that matches its nature counterpart, and just when you think the book is over and the journey has ended, readers flip the page to find a pouch where they can store their own wild words.

The Keeper of Wild Words publishes next week from Chronicle Books. And here's a peek underneath the dust jacket!

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