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digby o'day in the fast lane cover imageDigby O’Day In the Fast Lane, by Shirley Hughes, illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
first U.S. edition 2014 by Candlewick Press

Digby O’Day is an adventurous, nattily-dressed dog whose favorite possession is his car, a sweet red machine, sparkling clean, though unhappily prone to engine troubles.

Digby and his pal, Percy, love to tool around the countryside digby o'day in the fast lane 2 hughes and vulliamytogether in the car. Their one annoyance is that hoity-toity neighbor Lou Ella. Lou Ella buys a new car every year. She goes for expensive, fast, pink sports cars. So provoking.

Digby, Percy, Lou Ella and a host of others are about to take their places and ready their engines for an All-Day Race from Didsworth to Dodsworth. They’re allowed to choose any route they like. Digby’s first route nearly spells disaster! Next, he kindly takes time to rescue a family in a broken-down car. Lou digby o'day in the fast lane hughes and vulliamyElla’s car is so speedy,and Lou Ella herself is so haughty. Is there any chance for the amiable Digby and Percy to win?!

This charming beginning-chapter book is the first installment of a new series by dear Shirley Hughes and her daughter, Clara Vulliamy. It’s quite a new direction for Shirley, but as always, her plot is nicely developed for young children. The story is exciting, the heroes are immensely likeable, and Lou Ella is a wonderfully peevish villainess.

Additionally, Vulliamy’s illustrations are oh-so-perky. A bit retro, with a color scheme of eye-popping reds, pleasant pink, gray and black. Quite snappy. The layout of the pages is outstanding, with snippets of text dancing in and out of illustration, keeping us happily turning pages.

There are lots of juicy extras, too. An interview with Digby. Jolly maps. Snazzy chapter digby o'day in the fast lane 3 hughes and vulliamyheadings. A host of old-fashioned games to play in the car, drawing projects, a Digby O’Day quiz, a friendly introduction to the author and illustrator and a sneak peek ahead to more Digby adventures.

Like so many of Shirley’s books, this will appeal to a wide audience, boys and girls, newly-independent readers or younger listeners. I suggest you take it out for a spin!

Calling all spooky candy-cravers! It’s time to dress up and greet the neighbors again! Here are five stories to get you in the groove:

room on the broom cover imageRoom on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
first published in the U.S. in 2001 by Dial Books for Young Readers

One happy, ginger-haired witch and her marmalade cat are sailing along on her broom when WHOOSH! The wind spins her hat to the ground.

Down they swoop to search for it, but no hat can theyroom on the broom illustration axel scheffler find until, luckily, a polite, little dog trots out of the shrubbery, her hat clutched in his teeth.  “Is there room on the broom for a dog like me?” he asks.  And of course, there is. Off the three of them soar.

That’s not the last of this witch’s troubles, though, and certainly not the last of her helpful hitchhikers! Eventually the broom is so overloaded, it breaks in two! And this time when they plummet to earth, there’s something Very Fierce awaiting them!

Julia Donaldson seems to wave her wand and jolly, children’s stories come tumbling out. This one, with its friendly, rhyming text, has been a favorite for gobs of kids for almost 15 years now — cheerful, humorous, with a zing of suspense there at the end!  Axel Scheffler has teamed up with Donaldson many times, his lively, colorful illustrations brightening the pages with huge child appeal. A bewitching story for ages 2 and up.

spells cover image emily gravettSpells, written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
first US edition 2009, by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

A frog with a heart for romance finds a book of magic spells.  Hmpf, he thinks. I’d rather it were a book about pirates. Or castles, with me as a handsome prince.

Not to worry. With abundant ripping and folding of the worthless book’s pages, the frog creates a fairytale landscape, including a lovely, paper princess to escort to the ball. BUT THEN…in the sea of shredded paper, the frog discovers one snippet with these words: Spell to become a Handsome Prince

Suddenly this book holds all of frog’s future happiness. If only he can piece together thespells illustration emily gravett correct spell!

That’s not so easy, though, with all those fragments of paper to choose from. In this Magically Clever Book, you — the reader! — get to try to piece together the right spell as well. With a dozen half-pages to mix and match, you might just as easily create a spell that makes a Snabbit or Slimykazoot as a Handsome Prince. Persist long enough, though, and you’ll see how the frog fares with his dream girl.

Hint: Do not miss the fine print on the end papers. Also: do not miss the Lonely Hearts ad on the jacket flap. Emily Gravett’s sense of humor is spread from cover to cover in this wildly silly, interactive book for ages 4 or 5 and up.

the bake shope ghost cover imageThe Bake Shop Ghost, by Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
published in 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Fluffy meringue pies and decadent chocolate cakes, crisp apple strudel and sweetly pink petit fours — Cora Lee Merriweather can turn out the most lip-smackingly-delicious baked goods you could wish for.

Cora Lee herself is, however, a bit of a sourpuss.

After Cora passes on, it’s someone else’s turn to occupy the the bake shop ghost illustration marjorie priceman 001Merriweather Bake Shop, but one after another of the new owners flee town lickety split!  Cora Lee is haunting the place, they insist. So, the bake shop sits empty for many sad years…

…until spunky Annie Washington shows up. Annie isn’t about to take any lip from the ghost of Cora Lee. Turns out that Cora Lee can throw quite a temper tantrum, though, and finally Annie agrees to Cora’s terms: she’s got to make a cake so rich and sweet it brings tears to Cora’s eyes. Annie is one fabulous baker, but cake after cake does not pass muster for Cora Lee. What’s the secret to the perfect cake?

I think this must be the most mouthwatering ghost story ever, so do yourself a favor and settle in with something sweet to nibble while you read! All the right ingredients are here — a cantankerous ghost, a heroine with moxie, a puzzling conundrum, and a happy ending, plus so many confections!  I am a huge fan of Marjorie Priceman’s vivacious artwork anywhere, and here again, it splashes and whirls across these pages with panache!

A recipe for making your own “Ghost-Pleasing Chocolate Cake” is included. Yummy fun for ages 5 and up.

not very scary cover imageNot Very Scary, by Carol Brendler, pictures by Greg Pizzoli
published in 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux

Melly is a darling little monster who is tickled green to get an invitation to her cousin Malberta’s place, where a surprise awaits her! Melly loves surprises.

She sets off with great anticipation, but when she hears something following her, she looks just a teeny bit nervous. Turns out to be a black cat with an itchy-twitchy tail. “Not the not very scary illustration greg pizzolileast bit scary,” Melly declares, with a brave smile on her face.

However, when a couple of skittish skeletons show up, and several wheezy witches, too — well now! Is Melly scared? “Not particularly scary,” Melly insists. (But she does give a little shudder.)

Melly’s short walk to Malberta’s is plum full of ghosts and mummies, goblins and spiders. Melly seems wobbly-kneed to me, but she only keeps yelling that they’re “not significantly scary!” When she finally reaches Malberta’s house, Melly is both glad and surprised! What is waiting for her there?

This is a truly Happy Halloween book, crammed with all the standard scary creatures, but none of the fright. Greg Pizzoli’s clean, simplified line makes mummies chummy and vultures cultured, while the smooth coffees and charcoals of nighttime are spiffily punctuated with lime, bittersweet, and grape jelly outfits for these cute monsters. An appealing and upbeat choice for ages under-Two and up.

the mystery of the flying orange pumpkin cover imageThe Mystery of the Flying Orange Pumpkin, wirtten and illustrated by Steven Kellogg
published in 1980 by The Dial Press

Mr. Bramble is a friendly neighbor, who welcomes Brian, Ellis, and Joan with their packet of pumpkin seeds and helps them plant some in his garden. Together they weed and water and tend the plants.

Weeks go by, and one pumpkin is growing splendidly. They even give it a name — Patterson — and dream of the excellent jack-o-lantern it’ll make come Halloween.

But then Mr. Bramble moves away! And Mr. Klug, who moves in, is a gruff old codger who can’t abide kids in his garden and won’t hear of them using his pumpkin for anything. He’s going to make itthe mystery of the flying orange pumpkin illustration steven kellogg 001 into a pie!

All is not lost, though. Clever Mrs. Wilkins next door has some tricks up her sleeve, just in time for Halloween. Turns out there’s a way to make everyone happy…almost!

Steven Kellogg wrote a little set of mysteries for preschoolers back in the 70s and 80s, each with a color in the title. The Mystery of the Missing Red Mitten, The Mystery of the Stolen Blue Paint, The Mystery of the Magic Green Ball, and this little Orange Pumpkin number. They are a dear size for little hands, and feature Kellogg’s masterful line drawings with just little splashes of the corresponding color throughout the book. Completely charming, humorous, clever stories and lots to look at in the pictures.

The mitten mystery has been republished in a large format with full color. My opinion:  I don’t think you can beat the tiny size for tiny people. Search for these in a library or at used book sites.

those magnificent sheep in their flying machine cover imageThose Magnificent Sheep in their Flying Machine, by Peter Bently, illustrated by David Roberts
published in the U.S. in 2014 by Andersen Press

It’s just an ordinary day for this flock of sheep. Eunice, Lambert, Old Uncle Ramsbottom and the others are serenely munching grass, when…ZOOM!

An aeroplane streaks past and quite turns their heads. Trotting over to the aeroplane festival, the flock spies a “spiffing” yellow number that’s unattended and before you can say Bob’s-your-uncle they’re those magnificent sheep in their flying machine illustration david roberts 001airborne.

Following some stomach-churning loop-de-loops as they get the hang of this thing, the sheep unanimously agree to set off and see the world. Such adventures they have!

Meanwhile, the chap who owns that plane is madly searching for the “thieves in white sweaters” who’ve pinched it. Will he catch those wooly crooks, or not? You’ll have to read to find out.

It’s a whirlwind of a story, with marvelous,dapper language and a funny, clever ending. The invigorating illustrations convey a 20’s-era, Inspector-Clouseau style, with verve and dash and humor. Even the words, in stylized font, curve and climb about the pages, adding to the merry sense of frolic. Coming to us from the UK, this is sheer fun for ages 3 and up.

circle square moose cover imageCircle, Square, Moose, by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
published in 2014 by Greenwillow Books

Moose — that dear, attention-seeking, irrepressible fellow — is back! Have you met him, yet, in Z is for Moose? If not, I highly recommend you make his acquaintance there first. It’s a book that makes me laugh out loud!

If you know Moose, you know he cannot stand to be off-stage. Won’t take no for an answer. And will intrude, quite happily, even where he’s not invited –or perhaps especially when he’s not invited — making mincemeat of your plans.

This time around, it’s a book about shapes which Moose hijacks for his own blustering purposes. Our trusty referee, Zebra, is also back, attempting to control Moose’s mayhem. But Moose is spinning things so wildly out of control, is there any way whatsoever to prevent him from ruining the book?!

Circle Square Moose illustration paul o. zelinsky

A million giggles — that’s this book’s rating. Bingham and Zelinsky have brilliantly paired up again bringing concept, narration, personality, and hilarious illustration together for an encore worthy of their first smash hit. I was skeptical that Moose could pull it off again…but he did! Enjoy this with ages 3 or 4 and up.

ah ha cover image jeff mackAh Ha! written and illustrated by Jeff Mack
published in 2013 by Chronicle Books

The entire text of this ribbeting book is written with just two letters: A and H.

But these two letters, combined to make AH HA!, AAHH!, and HA HA! can express so very much more than you might think!

To begin with — “AAHH!” sighs the sanguine frog, lolling on his back in the cool, blue, pool.

But, “AH HA!” exults the dog, when a little boy captures that frog in ah ha illustration jeff macka Mason jar.

“AAHH!” cries the frog, when the dog thwaps the jar with his paw, tumbling the frog right out. But “AH HA!” the frog proclaims triumphantly, when he clambers onto a rock, out of the boy’s reach.

Back and forth the tide turns for this endearing, hapless, little frog in a delightful comedy of errors. Who will win out in the end? The boy? Or the frog?

Clever, clever, clever! And funny. And suspenseful. A delight for the small fry to be able to “read” along, it’s a read-it-over-and-over book for squirts from under-Two and up.

animal crackers fly the coop cover imageAnimal Crackers Fly the Coop, written and illustrated by Kevin O’Malley
published in 2010 by Walker & Company

So there’s this hen who loves to tell jokes. Loves to crack up the crowd, if you hear what I’m sayin’. Has dreams of being a…comedi-hen.

Ba-da-bing!

She meets a dog chasing his tail. Why is he chasing his tail? He’s trying to make ends meet.animal crackers fly the coop illustration

Ba-dum- ching!

This punny book, a comic spin on the Bremen Town Musicians, is as full of gags, puns, and one-liners as your average Jimmy Fallon monologue. I can’t quite predict at what age these will strike your particular child’s fancy, but you’ll know — when they’re at the stage when a play on words makes ‘em groan, hit them with this book. They won’t be able to resist re-telling these at the supper table, is my guess.

O’Malley’s illustrations are bold, black-line drawings, digitally colored in cool tones. He uses solid, ample, close-ups that grab us and haul us in. There’s a bit of a retro vibe to them; a sense of Paul Galdone, to my eye, which is an excellent thing. And did I mention the puns?!

good night gorilla cover image peggy rathmannGood Night, Gorilla, written and illustrated by Peggy Rathman
published in 1994 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons

In case you have somehow missed this book — I don’t know, maybe you’ve been living on Mars for the past two decades?  I mean, it’s in paperback, it’s in board book, it’s in Spanish, it’s in German…it is everywhere! But just in case…I’m adding it to the list today because …it is a Splendidly Funny Book.

It’s supposed to be bedtime at the zoo. There’s nothing sleepy about the little gorilla’s face, though. (Sound familiar?)

In fact, the scamp snitches the key ring right off the zookeeper’s backside, let’s himself out of his cage, then quietly shadows the keeper as he goes on his goodnight rounds, opening all the cages!  The zookeeper, oblivious to the line-up of freed animals following him, returns home through the quiet neighborhood, and goes to bed.

All the zoo animals sneakily tuck themselves up in his cozy, purple bedroom as well. Gorilla even decides to snuggle right IN the bed, his head poofing down into the soft pillow.good night gorilla illustration rathmann

Mrs. Zookeeper drowsily switches off the light and tells her husband, “Goodnight, dear.”

But…”Goodnight!” come SEVEN replies from the darkness! Huh?!

Mrs. Zookeeper takes matters firmly in hand — back to the zoo with all of you! — but if you think that’s the last she’s seen of gorilla…you just don’t know what a sneaky guy he is!

Buckets of fun for ages under-Two and up.

Hope something here makes you and your fellow-readers smile!

 

stand there she shouted cover imageStand There! She Shouted: The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron
by Susan Goldman Rubin, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
published in 2014 by Candlewick Press

She was intelligent.
Artistic.
Honest.
Indomitable.

She was an individual.
A character.
A doting mother.
A groundbreaker.

She knew what she wanted, and she knew just how you fit into her plans. And you’d better just straighten up and do what she said!

She was Julia Margaret Cameron, a pioneer in the art of photography, who didn’t give a hoot

Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron

what the critics said or how miserable it was for her models to hold long poses or how many time she failed. She had a vision to pursue — a vision to capture what was beautiful in her world and what was intrinsic to her friends’ natures, through the brand new medium of photography.

stand there she shouted illustration2 bagram ibatoullineSusan Goldman Rubin’s outstanding new biography of Julia Margaret is an absolute joy to read. With captivating detail, her prose creams along, introducing us to Julia as a child in colonial India, living in a world of wealth and privilege among “mynah birds and green parakeets” until at age 3 she was sent to France to be raised by her grandmother.  Feeding us manageable tidbits about the new inventions and processes of photography, Rubin guides us through Julia Margaret’s life, her love of art and beauty, her marriage and bustling household, and her first experiments with photography when she was almost 50 years old.

Cameron quickly became nearly obsessed with

"Paul and Virginia" by Julia Margaret Cameron

“Paul and Virginia” by Julia Margaret Cameron

learning and refining this art. During the next 11 years, she not only took thousands of photographs — a painfully slow, laborious process — but developed her own style and voice, and persisted in that until her work was finally recognized. Today, her photographs hang in museums in the United States and England, including MOMA and the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Julia’s personality is bohemian, eccentric, and at times domineering, yet her work is soft, beautiful, and romantic. In just about 60 pages, Rubin vividly introduces us to her, adding colorful recollections from her models and famous friends from Alfred Tennyson to Lewis Carroll.

stand there she shouted illustration bagram ibatoulline

This text is accompanied by Bagram Ibatoulline’s gorgeous paintings. Wow! As always when I see his work, that’s what I find myself saying. Rich, full color spreads usher us into this 1800s world with grace and atmosphere, and keenly portray the strength and seriousness of Julia. His figures, light, and use of color are a marvel . There are also many small, sepia sketches, a number of reproductions of Cameron’s photographs, and even an Arts-and-Crafts-styled border running along the page edges, so the whole book is visually splendid. 

Additional material includes a bibliography and listing of museums where you can see Cameron’s work. I hope many of you will find your way to this title. It’s an excellent book that could be read with children as young as 7, or enjoyed by older children …and adults!

Thank you, Susan and Bagram!

 

five trucks cover image brian flocaFive Trucks, written and illustrated by Brian Floca
orig. published in 1999; reprinted in 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Ever sit with a child by those massive airport windows, watching a flock of oddly-shaped trucks motoring importantly about? Hugely engaging.

Now you can get right up close to five drivers and their way-cool trucks. Come on down to the tarmac. What do the trucks look like? How do they move? What jobs are they doing?

five trucks illustration brian floca

You all know I love Brian Floca’s work. Here, he takes technical material and magically spins it into preschool candy with minimal text, intriguing, not-too-complicated renderings of the vehicles, friendly drivers, dashes of humor, and a soaring finale. He also quietly introduces the proper names for these specialized trucks, which even very young vehicle-experts will love to know. As always, I thoroughly admire his compositions and watercolor gorgeousness.

It’s an excellent choice for ages 2 and up. Thanks to Floca’s Caldecott medal this year, they’ve brought this one back into print, so please take advantage!

my bus cover imageMy Bus, written and illustrated by Byron Barton
published in 2014 by Greenwillow Books

Joe is a busdriver.

The bus he drives is as fat and orange as a sweet pot of marmalade!

As Joe tootles along the cheery road to town, he picks up passengers. Five dogs and five cats to be exact.  When his jolly bus is full-up, he my bus back cover image byron bartonbegins dropping his passengers at their stops. Some go to the harbor to sail away on a snappy red boat. Some board a canary-yellow train. Some fly off in a stout little plane. One dog doesn’t get off at any of the stops. Where could he be going?

Dazzling color. Chunky shapes. Charming scenes. Vehicles + dogs + cats. And lots of chances to count. This book is preschool brilliance. Byron Barton’s many, jolly titles are widely available as board books. This 2014 title is only in hardcover at this point. Check out his other work if you like this.

mr. gumpy's motor car cover imageMr. Gumpy’s Motor Car, written and illustrated by John Burningham
first published in 1973; published by Harper Collins in 1976

One of the Swanson family favorites, Mr. Gumpy is as dear as a cozy sweater; my copy is much-smudged and well-worn.

Mr. Gumpy is a plain, old, fellow. He’s gentle, matter-of-fact, and courteous.

And he has a smashing red car. It’s an old-fashioned mr. gumpy's motor car illustration2 john burningham 001jalopy with a top that folds down. When Mr. Gumpy decides to take it for a spin one day, all his friends — whom we’ve met earlier in Mr. Gumpy’s Outing — ask to come along. It’s quite a squash.

The ride is going beautifully on an old cart-track in the greenest of meadows, when unfortunately, it begins to rain. Heavily. Turning the track to muck. Mr. Gumpy’s car becomes mired in the mud and everyone has to help push. This causes quite a bit of consternation! A good team effort finally wins the day, though, and to top things off, there’s time for a nice swim!

John Burningham of the U.K.  is one of the shining lights in children’s literature, with so many wonderful books illustrated and written over his lifetime. My kids would wonder how anyone can properly grow up without Mr. Gumpy!  Read this one to ages under-Two and up, enjoy Burningham’s masterful drawing style, and make a friend of Mr. Gumpy.

giant vehicles cover imageGiant Vehicles, illustrated by Stephen Biesty, text by Rod Green
published in 2014 by Templar Books

Some of your kids are serious vehicle fanatics. This book is for them.

It introduces eight giant vehicles. These are the Empire State Buildings of vehices. The T. Rex’s. The Sequoiahs. Mammoth, King Kong, sizes.

A train that’s a mile-and-a-half long, with over a hundred cars,giant vehicles illustration by stephen biesty 001 each capable of carrying the weight of 18 elephants.
Monster passenger jets and helicopters and rockets.
A dumptruck with wheels the height of a double-decker bus.
How about a cruise ship with a zip line, surfing pools, rock-climbing walls, golf course, and ice rink…just for starters.
Ginormous submarines, and a cargo ship so utterly huge it could swallow four of those tremendously-big subs.

Each vehicle is drawn by the king of cross sections, Stephen Biesty, and stretches out across two pages. Many, many, small flaps allow us to see inside the hulls or cabs or cargo bays. This is detailed work, geared for ages 7 and up. There’s a brief description of the vehicle, plus intriguing facts and spot art strewn about the pages. For kids who love facts and stats-that-wow and superlatives — this book is tip-top.

galimoto cover imageGalimoto, by Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Catherine Stock
published in 1990 by Mulberry Books

In our previous home of Guinea, as in the Malawi setting of this wonderful story, children and adults build marvelous toy vehicles out of leftover bits of wire, metal scrap, strips of rubber or cloth, bottle tops… Truly works of art, you can find them in folk art exhibits in museums, and in some import stores here in the States.

The little boy in this book, Kondi, longs to build just such a toy, called a galimoto in his language. He has been saving odd bits in an old shoe box for quite some time, but he is still short some wire. Kondi has to go to galimoto illustration catherine stock 001great lengths, has to use all his cleverness, and even endure some scoldings, in order to procure his supplies. Then, working steadily all afternoon in the shade of the flame trees, Kondi builds his dream — a pick up truck, complete with radio antenna.

When night falls and the moon shines down, Kondi proudly joins his friends in a mini-parade of galimotos. Sweet success.

This is another of our family’s best-loved books. It’s a well-written story which rings true to my kids due to their early years living in West Africa. Catherine Stock’s watercolor work is right on top of my list of favorites as well. Her warm paintings of the foliage and homes, markets and clothing, waterscapes and people of Malawi are dignified and beautiful and compelling. Ages 4 and up.

poetry friday

fall folk artAutumn Train
by Mildred D. Shacklett

Autumn is a train that travels
From Summerland to Winterville –
Mellow apples, yellow pumpkins
And sweet brown nuts its freight cars fill;

Flying fast its hot breath changes
The green of leaves to red and gold,
And when it pulls up at the station
Then children know ’twill soon grow cold.

the right word cover imageThe Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus, by Jennifer Bryant, illustrations by Melissa Sweet
published in 2014 by Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers

Is it a rumpus, a racket, or a riot?

Is he diplomatic, cunning, or cagey?

Did she create, concoct, or fudge together her story?

Thanks to Peter Mark Roget, we have thousands of perfectly-appointed words, brilliantly organized in clever lists, at our fingertips.

Peter Mark Roget

Peter Mark Roget

This shy, intelligent fellow has made it easier to say precisely what we mean, since 1852.

Now you can read a trim account of Roget’s life, his early fascination with list-making, and his success in publishing his first thesaurus. (It sold like hotcakes!) Jennifer Bryant’s picture book biography dips a toe into Roget’s childhood, then lingers over his keen interest in collecting and organizing words which kept him on course through his varied life. She pleasantly leads us through the high-points, engaging readers ages 4 and up. 

Bryant has teamed up before with Melissa Sweet, and oh my! it’s a winning combination! Sweet’s dedication to her craft as a collage artist shows up again in this striking, alluring, beautiful book.  Fizzing with warm, dramatic color, with layouts that tango and typography that captivates, her illustrations compel us to slow-poke our way through the pages. Marvelous!

the right word jennifer bryant and melissa sweet from 7 imp

In keeping with Roget’s propensities, there’s a timeline of historic events coinciding with his life, as well as interesting notes from author and illustrator and suggestions for further reading.

the right word jennifer bryant and melissa sweet illustration2

I have been a word-lover since elementary school. Roget’s thesaurus, with its fascinating categories of words delighted me even then. Sure, a pig could be fat. But he could also be stout, plump, podgy, portly, or roly-poly. My thick, orange copy of Roget has traveled the world with me, and I am delighted to know a bit more about the man behind it.

P.S. Some of you are getting this post for the second time! Sorry about that. It is completely my fault for pushing the GO button at the wrong moment! Anyway,  this book is worth hearing about more than once, right?

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