I’m not number savvy-I am word savvy-but numbers are my weakness. So I thought I would be torn when it came to how I felt about ‘Wumbers’ a book that focuses around words, and numbers. From the first page however, I already knew I liked it. It’s full of wonderful word play-it blends words, which I love dearly, with numbers, which I don’t love dearly, in such a way that I may be more fond of the latter than I was before I read this book.
What’s Wumbers About?
It isn’t so much what it’s about, more so the experience it creates. A visual and mental challenge to read through without at least a few pauses, it completes a word with a number. For example-I can’t w8 to build a 10t with you! At first it may take you a second to process, but if you literally say it out loud, it totally makes sense. W8 is read ‘wait,’ 10t is read ‘tent.’ Cool, right? The real challenge comes when you can read through it fluidly in your head or out loud without skipping a beat,
How Is It Set Up?
So it doesn’t have a plotline per say, but something still needs to take place for there to be a book. On each page is a colorful illustration of people going about their daily lives-having a picnic, swinging at the park, kids getting into mischief- and so on and so forth. There are few outlying pages (like one that just shows an octopus) but it’s laid out mostly following people’s activities, and their narrative of whatever they are doing. An example of a page…two kids are standing beside each other, one is accusingly pointing a finger at the other, who is looking innocent. An adult (presumably their dad) stands at the sink doing dishes. Little speech bubbles surround their words.
Kid: “He pinched my belly bu10!”
Dad: “I think you’ll sur5.” (“They do this just 4 a10tion.)
The events on the pages do not necessarily connect to make a story-think sort of how Richard Scarry set up ‘What Do People Do All Day?’
Tom Lichtenheld (or should I say Lich10held?) is the illustrator of Wumbers. I quite enjoy how he draws. His pictures are full of warmth, bright colors, and pleasing textures. They’re goofy, but not over the top. I think his style fit this book perfectly.
I really wasn’t sure what to make of Wumbers upon first glance. Not to blow you away with my originality or anything, but don’t judge a book by its cover right? It turns out that words+numbers= quite an enjoyable read, to yourself or aloud. I would love to see a Wumbers 2 sometime soon, because eventually you’ll memorize the original! Extremely entertaining, somewhat challenging, and completely unique, I’d recommend giving this book a shot.