★ "Talk about painting with words. Author/illustrator Paschkis plays with them, too, and encourages readers to do likewise. In the process, she explores the elasticity and seemingly endless possibilities of language. The vividly colored, wittily detailed, folk-style paintings on double-page spreads organically incorporate words into the artwork in wondrous, creative ways. Words frequently repeat in different sizes and colors; illustrated images include words that sound or are shaped like them, are variations of them, rhyme or nearly rhyme with them, sort of resemble them, are sort of spelled like them, etc. A bouquet of flowers in a vase sports roses exuding the scents of slumber, sultry, shush, and other evocative words beginning with S; on a daisy’s petals readers find dizzy, doozy, lazy, jazzy; lief, leap, life, and more decorate the leaves. Delightful words—many of which readers won’t know, and that’s OK—flex vocabulary and spelling muscles to the max and also enhance readers’ visual and auditory senses when the pictures are taken in. Furthermore, the spreads are connected to thought-provoking questions. Some inspired the paintings, or vice versa, and themselves contain examples of wordplay. Persons depicted have diverse skin tones. The book makes a great springboard for creative-thinking activities in writing and art units in classroom and library programs. Keep dictionaries handy. Endpapers abound with swirling words readers can savor (and look up). In a word, a feast for the eyes, brain, and artistic imagination." —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus
"Devoted to the tricks and beauties of the English language, The Wordy Book, by Julie Paschkis, has lush illustrations and an enigmatic text that would be useful for sparking conversation at bedtime with anyone over perhaps the age of 4 or 5. 'When does there become here?' Ms. Paschkis asks. 'What tells me more—an if or an or?' These posers are accompanied by richly colored folkloric pictures, many with words woven into their patterns. The question 'Do you see what I see?' runs beside a painting of a white vase—or is it the space between two silhouetted faces?—with flowers whose petals and leaves are decorated with words such as 'happy/sappy/zippy' and 'worry/flurry/fury.' The strangeness is part of the beauty; the beauty is in the strangeness."— Wall Street Journal
“This gorgeously illustrated book is full of words waiting to be discovered! Snuggle up and get ready to spend hours reading and re-reading this dreamy, mesmerizing book, where art and literature go hand in hand.” —Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore (Richmond, VA)
This book is a collection of paintings made up of words upon words, all moving, interacting, and creating a visually stunning and wordy universe. Each page contains a question to be answered with the words that lie within. What happens when words and pictures coexist in such a way, bump into one another, are in constant conversation? How might words paint a bird, while that very bird sings the words themselves? This book invites readers to participate in a vibrant celebration of language itself.