THE DORLING KINDERSLEY CHILDREN'S ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY by John McIlwain

THE DORLING KINDERSLEY CHILDREN'S ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a visually exciting but basically unhelpful reference book for children. Aimed at an audience from early readers to preteens, the dictionary suffers from schizophrenia. Why, for example, does McIlwain give a pronunciation guide for some words -- like ""yawn"" -- and not the nearby, and more difficult, ""yacht""? He provides pictorial definitions of ""shoe"" and ""hat,"" ""deciduous"" and ""obstinate,"" but leaves out many illustrations in between. The pictures themselves are limiting; they are often unenlightening, and they prevent the author from attempting more difficult concepts. And some of them seem completely arbitrary: ""Sense"" is illustrated with a girl talking on a telephone. Finally, the dictionary is inconsistent. Although it claims to give all the definitions for the words it provides, it doesn't always follow through. ""Hatch"" is only explained as a verb; ""herd"" only given as a noun. Basically a mess.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1994
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley