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Children's Fiction Emotions & Feelings

More than Words

So Many Ways to Say What We Mean

illustrated by Roz MacLean

Henry Holt and Co.
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Emotions & Feelings
Recommended Age
4 to 8
Recommended Grade
p to 3
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


In the tradition of All Are Welcome and The Day You Begin comes a touching picture book about the many unique ways we communicate, and how we can better listen to and respect these different modes of expression.
Nathan doesn't say much.
He sure has a lot on his mind, though.
At school, Nathan quietly observes the ways his peers communicate. Even when they’re not talking, they’re expressing themselves in all sorts of ways!
By witnessing the beauty of communication diversity, Nathan learns and shows his classmates the essential lesson: Not only does everyone have something to say, but seeking to understand one another can be the greatest bridge to friendship and belonging.
This tender, stunningly illustrated picture book explores and celebrates the many forms of expression—signing, speaking, singing, smiling, among others—and culminates in a poignant story about connection and understanding.
Includes additional material at the end of the book with vocabulary, an introduction to various forms of communication, and information about communication access, perfect for back-to-school and classroom discussions.

About the author

Roz MacLean lives in beautiful Vancouver, BC where she balances her writing and illustration practice with supporting students with diverse needs at school. Roz is passionate about mental health, education, body positivity, self-compassion and inclusion of people with diverse abilities. These values are a constant theme in her creative work, embodied most vibrantly in her newest release, "The Body Book." As an educator, she believes that positive cultural change begins on an individual and emotional level with early education. When children learn to relate to themselves and their bodies with self-acceptance, love and care they will be better able to maintain positive mental and physical health as they navigate our society's problematic media landscape. Other children's books she has illustrated include Lucy's Tree, written by Helen Davidson, and Mommy's 26 Careers by Keegan Connor Tracy. Along with Violet's Cloudy Day, which Roz wrote and illustrated, these books explore socially conscious themes of connection to nature, feminism and the cultivation of positive mental health.

Roz MacLean's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"MacLean’s gouache, pencil crayon, acrylic ink, and digital illustrations depict a class diverse in skin tone, ethnicity, religion, and ability. We see children who use wheelchairs, a child with a hearing impairment, a service dog, and a student who uses oxygen tubing . . . A warmly inclusive look at the many ways we communicate with one another." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"With affirming and informative language, this book has a place in every collection supporting and celebrating the many methods of communication children and adults are using today. Highly recommended." —School Library Journal
"[H]eartwarming and insightful . . . More Than Words has the potential to spark meaningful conversations among parents, teachers, and caregivers, helping children develop a broader perspective on communication. It has the potential to inspire meaningful discussions about acceptance, understanding, and the beauty of expressing oneself in various ways." —Waterloo Region Record

Other titles by Roz MacLean