Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Wee Wordsmiths Wanted! Bigger Words for Little Geniuses by Susan and James Patterson

An ailurophile is likely to have a chasmophilous pet!

Ailurophile - an adorer of cats.

Chasmophilous - creatures who love to squeeze into nooks and crannies

If you have a cat or kitten who loves to squeeze himself into boxes or shoes, you are an ailurophile with a chasmophilous pet.

Whether the words in this new picture book for young logophiles are long and latinate, or wacky and wild, they are deliciously juicy and artfully arcane: not your usual A Is For Apple alphabet book for tots but a solid lexicon for bigger kids who like to wrap their tongue around weighty words.

In their Bigger Words for Little Geniuses (Little, Brown and Company, 2019), Susan and James Patterson offer a scintillating sequel in their series. The Pattersons offer a potpourri of  splurge words, with well-known literary favorites like "jabberwocky," a word created by Lewis Carroll in his Alice in Wonderland to mean "gibberish," sweet words to savor that also sound like what they mean, like melliferous, which draws its root from the Latin word for honey, wacky words like widdernshins, which inexplicably means "counterclockwise," or limited-usage words like Yoicks, a word used to urge hunting dogs to give chase.

Childhood is the crucial time for language learning, and although most kids may not find ways to work some of these words into their normal lingo, there is much value in learning that there are many ways to say almost anything, a special power in acquiring a taste for that indispensable sine qua non--words--the tools of communication. As you might guess, the authors even provide an appendix of even more words. After all, the English language has a million of them!

Pair this one with the Patterson's initial offering, Big Words for Little Geniuses (see review here).

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