DK First Reference Dictionary
256pp., pbk., RRP $A24.99
I love this time of the year – the madness that is Christmas is over, the new school year is becoming real and it’s time to reflect on just where Miss 7 and Miss 12 are at with their learning, and how much they have accomplished in the past 12 months.
This year, Miss 12 begins the whole new adventure of high school while Miss 7 moves into Year 3, already an independent reader and wanting to start writing her own stories. She has a big imagination and big dreams just like May Gibbs so this new Australian dictionary from DK is going to be the perfect addition to her desk. As part of the generation that believes having a broad vocabulary and using and spelling it correctly is critical for engaging the audience and getting the message across, I believe dictionaries are an essential part of the writer’s toolkit and this one is perfect for the budding storyteller.
With more than 4,000 words and definitions, and featuring a full alphabet on every page to make finding words easy, colourful photographs that bring words to life, and helpful information on word families, spelling and writing, this essential dictionary for Australian children is the perfect reference book, both for home and at school. Each entry provides the part of speech and the word’s plural while the definition is in everyday English so that it is accessible to the user. It acknowledges that the user has moved on from junior picture dictionaries so there is not a picture for every entry, allowing space for exploring the words that children of this age use.
This book is one of six in the 2019 DK Australia First Reference series, which also includes Visual Guide to Grammar and Punctuation, First Maths Glossary, First Science Encyclopedia and First How Things Work Encyclopedia., all of which will be important additions to Miss 7’s bookshelf this year as well as being extremely useful in any library collection as they could be the central focus of teaching this age group the value of reference tools and how to identify the cues and clues to use them. Alphabetical order is an essential skill that reaches well beyond understanding how a dictionary works, but the dictionary is the ideal place to master it.