I say The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith is a five but is more of a 4.8 due to a little hiccup for me. Which is the fact that Brooke is the name of the child of the story and the author. This seems a bit heavy handed. However, regardless if this is based on a true story or not, maybe naming the child Robin, Willow, Rose (etc.) might have been less daunting. Of course, it also could be while Brooke is a lovely name, I am just not a fan of it. Names can play a part in if you like a story or not, even if you are not consciously aware of it.
But despite this bump, this is a lovely poem about words, about family, about sharing and about nature. It might not be meant to be a “poem-poem” but it is a lyrical song-like story. It is poetic but not rhyming. This story is about a grandmother and her granddaughter and how they need each other, how the grandmother teachers her granddaughter about the words that one should not forget and nature. It is clever and beautifully written and illustrations.
Madeline Kloepper’s signature style of art is the the perfect addition to the text. These illustrations are soft and, interestingly enough, bold colors. Kloepper (I am assuming was trying to catch the wildness and beauty of the woods and the grandmother’s home. At once the illustrations are modern and classically inspired. They are worth reading on their own.
An afterwards explains how Smith came to write a book about language and how it is changing. All ages can take something away from the story. As well as it can be used in the classroom (in English or Science classes, or to show that no subject is solo from the others, both) and for a quiet reading time. An envelope at the back will help you collect your own special surprises.