cover image The Dictionary of Difficult Words

The Dictionary of Difficult Words

Jane Solomon, illus. by Louise Lockhart. Frances Lincoln, $27.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-786038-11-1

In this oversize volume, lexicographer Solomon introduces more than 400 intriguing words to children. From abecedarian to zygodactyl, these terms, many of them tongue twisters, are sure to have young readers hooked on the challenge of pronunciation. Straightforwardly articulated definitions are easy to digest (about ergophobia: “People use this word when they want to be funny”), with some featuring facts and examples to contextualize the word, as for juxtapose: “An artist might juxtapose dark and light colors, and a musician might juxtapose slow and fast parts of a song.” Solomon alternates phrasing and includes a delightful array of words so that each page turn feels fresh and inviting. Playful digital illustrations by Lockhart vitalize each page, pairing definitions with memorable visual aids (a chimera breathes fire, one rabbit manages to jostle another). Front matter explains the purpose of a dictionary, delves into parts of speech, and includes instructions for navigating the book. An appealing celebration of language. Ages 7–up. (Apr.)