Thursday, May 14, 2009

Der Buchstabenbaum

Leo Lionni has such a gentle, magical way with words. In Der Buchstabenbaum, a flock of letters lived in a tree and they happily jumped around, without rhyme or reason, until one day a storm came up and blew them around. They were very scared until a "Word-Bug" showed them how to form into words so the wind wouldn't blow them away. They made words like Baum (tree), Wind, and Hut (hat).

They were very happy again and when the next wind rose up, they stayed firmly together. Sometime later, a caterpillar came by and suggested they form meaningful sentences instead of just random words.
"Was für ein Durcheinander", sagte die Raupe, als sie die Wörter auf so vielen verschiedenen Blättern sah. "Warum tut ihr euch nicht zusammen und bildet Sätze und seid endlich etwas von Bedeutung?"

Translation: "What a mess," said the caterpillar, as she saw the words on so many leaves. "Why don't you put yourselves together and make sentences and be meaningful at last?"
So they did and they end with a wonderful message for the world.

Since I had a reluctant reader, I am always on the lookout for books that address the process of reading and writing in a low-pressure way.

This new edition from Beltz Verlag is a sweet testament to the power of words.

Der Buchstabenbaum by Leo Lionni
Original title: The Alphabet Tree

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