Judy Sierra is a beloved author in our home. Her writing career could’ve begun and ended with Counting Crocodiles and we’d consider her a success. However, she has written far more than just that one book. Her total number of picture books is climbing close to two dozen now with the latest addition to her oeuvre: The Great Dictionary Caper. This book is all about what happens when words in a dictionary get bored and form themselves into a parade for our reading enjoyment. Onomatopoetic words, action words, contractions, rhyming words, archaic words, interjections–you name it, if it’s a category of words, it has an entry or two in this parade. Eric Comstock’s illustrations are best described as hand-drawn typography (is that even a thing?). The words themselves take center stage and make up most of the illustrations. Like on the cover illustration, the words are often anthropomorphized. Noah Webster and Peter Mark Roget also make appearances. There is also page-long glossary at the end of the book that provides definitions for both the word categories and some obscure words that are entries in the parade (words like nuncle, pismire, and sackbut). This is just a fun book all the way around. The only thing about this book that gives me a wee bit of pause is figuring out the target audience. I actually think this book would be a great one for older students, even up through high school. However, some teens might balk at the cartoonish illustrations. It would certainly be worth a shot, though. Paired with The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, this book would make a really fun addition to school time or just-for-fun reading. (Simon and Schuster, 2018)
Wild About You by Judy Sierra and Mark Brown (review here)
Zoozical by Judy Sierra and Mark Brown (review here)
Special thanks to Provato Marketing for providing a pre-publication copy of this book for my unbiased review.