Wumbers by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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Wumbers by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (Chronicle Books, 2012) is a beautifully illustrated tribute to William Steig’s C D B!, a favorite from my own childhood. In C D B!, Steig tells stories only using letters, the title, for example, becoming “See the bee!” Wumbers, then is a new creation, using numbers to create words: ca9 means canine, ba6 means basics, and so forth. As such, it is not a story the follows logical progression but a series of mini-stories of a page or two that create scenes.

I love the Lichtenheld illustrations, and the number-words are clever and interesting. It was a chore to read it aloud, however, as one must read ahead and make sure you know what is intended in each phrase before you try to read it. For the older child, however, I suspect the delight of creating “wumbers” will carry over into their own writing as they discover “wumbers” of their own. 

Kid’s Thoughts: “Is this in Spanish? I can’t read it.” When I read it to him, he didn’t seem engaged and interested, since the pages didn’t relate to each other. He did say he liked it, and he asked me about C D B! (which I told him it was like) so I went off to search for my copy of that.

Nominations for the Cybils are open! As a first-round panelist, I get to read all the nominated fiction picture books, those published between October 16, 2011 and October 15, 2012. My son (turning 5 tomorrow!) and I enjoy watching nominations come in, and we’re always excited when we see a book we’ve already enjoyed show up on the list! Some he’s really excited to read because the title is so interesting or the cover illustrations are intriguing. We read this book earlier in the year but didn’t have a chance to post about it then.

Reviewed on October 6, 2012

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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