Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Review - The Great Dictionary Caper

The Great Dictionary Caper
by Judy Sierra
illustrated by Eric Comstock
Date: 2018
Publisher: Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

When all of the words escape from the dictionary, it’s up to Noah Webster to restore alphabetical order in this supremely wacky picture book that celebrates language.

Words have secret lives. On a quiet afternoon the words escape the dictionary (much to the consternation of Mr. Noah Webster) and flock to Hollywood for a huge annual event—Lexi-Con. Liberated from the pages, words get together with friends and relations in groups including an onomatopoeia marching band, the palindrome family reunion, and hide-and-seek antonyms. It’s all great fun until the words disagree and begin to fall apart. Can Noah Webster step in to restore order before the dictionary is disorganized forever?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book is actually kind of fun... though I would have a few reservations about recommending it to younger children.

Set around the idea of a bunch of words escaping from a dictionary, this book shows off different types of words, with (mostly) clear illustrations. We see onomatopoeia, antonyms, contractions, action verbs, rhymes, anagrams, palindromes, and more. The illustrations looked very retro to me, which I kind of liked.

My only complaint is that, on some pages, it wasn't always clear which type of word was which. For example, on the conjunctions page, those words are mixed together with interjections. Yes, the interjections page came immediately before, but there's no colour or illustration difference setting off the two types of words, so if these are new concepts, there might be some confusion.

Other than that, though, this is a fun look at many different kinds of words. The section with archaic words was especially entertaining. At least that page didn't cause a garboil in my head. (Thankfully, those words are included in the glossary at the end.)

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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