Top 5 childrens's books about linguistics - Patrick Skipworth

Here are 5 fantastic non-fiction titles for children sure to kickstart a broader interest in languages, just like our own.

The Hello Atlas

Ben Handicott & Kenard Pak

Celebrating diversity through learning about other languages around the globe, this book comes with an app that offers recordings of phrases from the book. In the book, children from all over the world introduce themselves in their native languages, then readers can listen to native speakers repeat the phrases in the app to hear how they really sound.

Dictionary of Difficult Words

Jane Solomon & Louise Lockhart

Tricky words can be a brilliant challenge for any child with an interest in languages. They might just enjoy the funny way the sounds mix together (my favourite word in English has to be mosaic for the way the vowels flow together in the final syllable), or the buzz of knowing facts that your friends or parents don’t. This book is full of tough words from the English language. I learned a few new ones myself, including leafdom, meaning an area so overgrown with foliage that it seems like another world.

Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids

Jezz Zafarris

One for all future linguistics geeks including adults, this is a great book for introducing the incredible stories hidden inside every word. Offering so much more than just a definition and an etymology each entry tells the story of how words came to mean what they do in an engaging and easily understandable style. Explanations of roots, prefixes and suffixes help support language skills and build vocabulary along the way.

P is for Pterodactyl

Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter & Maria Tina Beddia

If you’ve ever been frustrated by some of the more impossible to grasp features of the English language, then this picture book will definitely grab your attention. No ordinary ABC book, silent letters and other oddities in words such as knight, tsunami and bdellium (pronounced de-li-um, a rare offender beginning with a B) take the centre stage. The kooky illustrations are sure to get you laughing along the way.

The Lost Words

Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris

Inspired by the removal of a number of nature words from children’s dictionaries while the same plants and animals are in very real decline, this magnificent book will please children and adults alike. Each word is accompanied by a breathtaking illustration and poem (or ‘spell’ – the authors encourage you to sing them). Children with an interest in the natural world will discover new words along the way

....and one more bonus one!

Wordplay

Ivan Brunetti

With delightful, humorous illustrations, this story takes a graphic novel approach to teach compound words. Look out for a mailman made of letters or a house laying tarmac (‘homework’) as you learn about this key feature of English vocabulary.

Many thanks to Patrick Skipworth for compiling this guest booklist for us. We couldn't leave this list of books about linguistics without adding Patrick's own new book Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From.

Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From

Patrick Skipworth & Nicholas Stevenson

A stunning non-fiction picture book about the origins of the English Language. You'll be surprised at the global and cultural diversity hidden in the words we use every day.

 

Did you know that English words come from all over the world? And often their meanings have changed over time? Find out about the journeys of a selection of words from the English Language in this visual resource. Each word is paired with a two-page spread illustration, which takes inspiration from the origins of the word itself.

Find out more over on our blog.

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Top 5 childrens's books about linguistics - Patrick Skipworth Here are 5 fantastic non-fiction titles for children sure to kickstart a broader interest in languages, just like our own. ​ The Hello Atlas Ben Handicott & Kenard Pak Celebrating diversity through learning about other languages around the globe, this book comes with an app that offers recordings of phrases from the book. In the book, children from all over the world introduce themselves in their native languages, then readers can listen to native speakers repeat the phrases in the app to hear how they really sound. Buy Online Dictionary of Difficult Words Jane Solomon & Louise Lockhart Tricky words can be a brilliant challenge for any child with an interest in languages. They might just enjoy the funny way the sounds mix together (my favourite word in English has to be mosaic for the way the vowels flow together in the final syllable), or the buzz of knowing facts that your friends or parents don’t. This book is full of tough words from the English language. I learned a few new ones myself, including leafdom, meaning an area so overgrown with foliage that it seems like another world. Buy Online Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids Jezz Zafarris One for all future linguistics geeks including adults, this is a great book for introducing the incredible stories hidden inside every word. Offering so much more than just a definition and an etymology each entry tells the story of how words came to mean what they do in an engaging and easily understandable style. Explanations of roots, prefixes and suffixes help support language skills and build vocabulary along the way. Buy Online P is for Pterodactyl Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter & Maria Tina Beddia If you’ve ever been frustrated by some of the more impossible to grasp features of the English language, then this picture book will definitely grab your attention. No ordinary ABC book, silent letters and other oddities in words such as knight, tsunami and bdellium (pronounced de-li-um, a rare offender beginning with a B) take the centre stage. The kooky illustrations are sure to get you laughing along the way. Buy Online The Lost Words Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris Inspired by the removal of a number of nature words from children’s dictionaries while the same plants and animals are in very real decline, this magnificent book will please children and adults alike. Each word is accompanied by a breathtaking illustration and poem (or ‘spell’ – the authors encourage you to sing them). Children with an interest in the natural world will discover new words along the way Buy Online ....and one more bonus one! Wordplay Ivan Brunetti With delightful, humorous illustrations, this story takes a graphic novel approach to teach compound words. Look out for a mailman made of letters or a house laying tarmac (‘homework’) as you learn about this key feature of English vocabulary. Buy Online Many thanks to Patrick Skipworth for compiling this guest booklist for us. We couldn't leave this list of books about linguistics without adding Patrick's own new book Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From. Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From Patrick Skipworth & Nicholas Stevenson A stunning non-fiction picture book about the origins of the English Language. You'll be surprised at the global and cultural diversity hidden in the words we use every day. Did you know that English words come from all over the world? And often their meanings have changed over time? Find out about the journeys of a selection of words from the English Language in this visual resource. Each word is paired with a two-page spread illustration, which takes inspiration from the origins of the word itself. Find out more over on our blog.

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