Children's Illustrated Thesaurus by DK

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Children's Illustrated Thesaurus by DK

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A first Thesaurus suitable for the 9 to 14 age group. It should find a good home in every classroom.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: June 2017
Publisher: DK Children
ISBN: 978-0241286975

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One of the most valuable literary skills which children can learn is how to use reference books. As a child every question which I began with how do you spell...? would be answered with EXACTLY as it says in the dictionary. This was fine, but the family's Collins Little Gem Dictionary didn't encourage exploration, not least because the font was small and difficult to read. Fortunately those times have now changed and reference book for children are now much more inviting. Not every book comes with a set of instructions but it's worth studying the How to... section, not least because similar systems are used in other reference books.

Let's pick a word. Accept seems like a good one. We find out first of all that it's a verb, and it means to receive or agree to something. Then we see how it works in an example sentence: Lucas accepted the party invitation (small quibble there that it's the past tense which has been used, rather than the present). Next comes the synonyms: acknowledge, agree to, concur with, consent to, take and finally an antonym: refuse. Sometimes you'll get slightly more complicated synonyms and you'll be told if there's more than one entry for a word, usually where it has different meanings. Sometimes a word is explained in a big illustration: accommodation goes across the bottom of a double page spread and you have a cityscape showing how all the different types of living accommodation fit in. It's quite exhaustive - it even covers digs!

The Children's Illustrated Thesaurus is going to encourage children to broaden their vocabulary, to think about the nuances of what they're saying or writing. It's one of those books which you find yourself exploring. There are over four thousand synonyms and antonyms and it's going to inspire children up to Key Stage Three when they should be ready to move on to an adult thesaurus. Coverage is reasonably comprehensive and it would be unreasonable to expect the same spread of words as you'd find in the adult version, but I was surprised at some of the omissions.

I looked at some of the words which I'd used in my first paragraph. Some I wasn't unduly worried about not finding (literary, dictionary) but I looked for uninviting and couldn't find that, or invite or inviting. Explore and exploration don't feature and not does fortunate. I'm afraid though that that's me being very critical (carping, derogatory, disapproving, disparaging, scathing, captious, cavilling, censorious, fault-finding) though!

Some homes might find this to be a good investment but I think it's true place is in the classroom. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

We've been impressed by some similar reference books recently. From the same stable we have First Science Encyclopedia and What's Where on Earth? Atlas: The World as You've Never Seen It Before.

Buy Children's Illustrated Thesaurus by DK at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Children's Illustrated Thesaurus by DK at

Buy Children's Illustrated Thesaurus by DK at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Children's Illustrated Thesaurus by DK at


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