Word Trouble

Word Trouble
Vyara Boyadjieva
Walker Books

Starting somewhere new is often stressful but when everybody else speaks a different language it is likely to be much more difficult. So it is for Ronnie who has just moved to a new country.

Despite his parents’ efforts to equip him with some basic English vocabulary, his attempts at communication when his nursery teacher asks Ronnie to introduce himself are less than perfect. Sadly his classmates seem unwelcoming and Ronnie is upset that everybody giggles at him.

Back home he recounts what has happened to his mum and dad who do their best to reassure him.

The next day begins well and the other children want to get to know Ronnie better, but due to his lack of vocabulary he is unable to respond appropriately to their questions, leading to further confusion and leaving Ronnie as despondent as ever.

A trip to the park with Dad after school opens the way first to some non-verbal communication and then joyous laughter. It’s this laughter that leads Ronnie not only to the beginnings of friendship,

but also a realisation that both laughter and kindness are universal languages.

Illustration too is a universal language as Vyara Boyadjieva shows in her empathetic portrayal of Ronnie’s feelings and the challenges of being in a new country.

Ultimately uplifting, this sensitive debut picture book deserves to be in all early years and foundation stage settings.

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