101 Weird Words (and Three Fakes)
Allen & Unwin, 2018
144pp., pbk., RRP $A9.99
Young readers who love playing with words and learning new ones to baffle their parents can journey from ambidextrous to zugzwang in this new book of words from “full-time nerd word” David Astle. He is the devious crossword-setter in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age but children will also know him as the “dictionary man” on the TV show Letters and Numbers.
In this pop-in-your-pocket volume, he has collected lots of new words that children will delight in getting their tongues around and using in their conversations and stories. And just to add some extra zing, he has included three fake words as well! Each word, real or fake has a roll-off-the-tongue appeal and is presented with its meaning, pronunciation, history, fun facts and examples of use in a way that is engaging and demands to be read to the end.
Extending children’s vocabulary is one of the primary goals of reading and writing, and as well as being a great Christmas present for the family word nerd, it would also be an ideal gift for the teacher who likes to challenge students with a word of the week. There’s always room for a thumbs-up or more tangible reward for the student who uses the word correctly in a conversation or a story. It’s fun books like these that make me wish I was back in schools again!