Wordbirds: An Irreverent Lexicon for the 21st Century

Liesl Schillinger, illus. by Elizabeth Zechel. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4767-1348-9
“The old dictionary has not expanded quickly enough to keep up with the ever-evolving backdrop of daily life in the twenty-first century,” writes journalist, critic, and translator Schillinger in her introduction to this quirky collection of neologisms accompanied by illustrations of birds. She enlists Zechel (author and illustrator of the children’s book Is There a Mouse in the Baby’s Room?) to help her document more than a hundred newly coined terms that have appeared on Schillinger’s blog of the same name. Many of her inventions are clever and fairly easy to understand (“recognore” is pretending not to see someone you’d prefer to avoid, a “shleperd” forces others to participate in lengthy travels in pursuit of high culture, a “canapig” is someone who stuffs his or her face with hors d’oeuvres) while others, even when used as part of a phrase, make little to no sense (“E-quail” is to feel dread upon receiving an email from an irritating source, “ortate” is to talk with one’s mouth full). The most puzzling aspect of the book is the inclusion of the bird images. Though artfully drawn, they frequently have little or no clear relationship to the neologism they’re paired with, making for a puzzling experience best left to the blogosphere. 151 full-color illus. Agent: Zoë Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 10/15/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4767-1350-2
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