Poetry Friday: Prize Contenders
On the Books, with LD Podcast's Whitney Hoffman

Dictionary to the Rescue

On weekday mornings our house is not always the picture of calm. The time between the end of breakfast and the arrival of the school bus is often filled with last-minute scurrying around to find homework, make snacks, dig out the fall sweaters, change shoes (oops, it's gym day!), or locate/hug the cat.

Not today, though. A grown-up friend gave Junior an older copy of The Macmillan Visual Dictionary yesterday. Her family was no longer using it, and she hated to see the book just sitting around. Given its 3,500 color illustrations and 600 subjects, this book is grand for a curious kid or adult. Sure, it still has Pluto as a planet, but other information still holds. This morning Junior spent a good fifteen minutes studying the solar system and telling his dad and me how the Northern Lights work. A visually oriented fellow, he's not a reluctant reader, but a book like this would have lots of appeal for readers in that category, as well as English language learners. There are several current visual dictionaries on the market. An Amazon reviewer commented that one of them has been terrific for her son, who is deaf.

What does tomorrow a.m. hold? Rushing around or examining the dictionary's cross-section diagram of a water heater? I hope it's the latter.

On Mondays children's book author Anastasia Suen collects links to posts about nonfiction books for children; check Picture Book of the Day for today's entries.


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Ooh, I remember the first pictorial dictionary I saw in junior high -- our teacher had it on a podium and we could only look at it if we had NOTHING else to do and were very good and clean and neat and her special favored pets.

Granted, I got to look at it once or twice. But I VOWED I would get one of my own someday! And this reminds me to get on that!!

TadMack, I know just what you mean. I want a microscope for similar reasons. I just never got enough time to look at what I wanted to look at in biology class.

Yeah, the biology teacher tended to sigh a lot if we examined carpet fibers and eyelashes and mascara smears and fingernail bits and all the other stuff WE wanted to look at when we were supposed to be doing pond water or whatever.

I think we should have lobbied for free labs. Just kind of "Okay, here's the equipment, play with it." Of course, then we'd probably be biologists!

Free labs! Can you imagine? Wouldn't that be cool?

I remember reading our old World Books when I was junior's age. After we were married, we contemplated buying a set of Enclyclopedia Britannica. But husband said that one day soon we'd have all that information on computers in our homes. I remember being skeptical...but he prevailed. Shows you how much I knew.

unbelievable, isn't it, Cindy? I remember the first time I heard you could do a two-page layout on the Mac. I was like, no way!

Jr. has found the weapons section of the visual dictionary, much to his delight.

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