My five year-old’s current vocabulary include words like despondent, haberdashery, and Mezzo-Soprano. Not because she’s any sort of verbal genius, but because her grandmother introduced her to one of the most wonderful books for kids I’ve seen in a long time.
13 Words by Lemony Snicket
is a must-have for any early reader who likes humor verging on the
totally absurd. We’re talking Ionesco-level non-linear, awesome absurdity.
13 words include the big ones that impress the relatives, but also
words like cake, bird, and spiffy. And no they’re not random (well,
okay, a little random) but they’re all woven together into a quirky
story about babies selling fancy feathered hats, birds painting, and
goats driving convertibles, which all provide tons of opportunities for
teaching about language, color, and art.
Also, why cake cures most ills.
Maira Kallman’s evocative, colorful illustrations keep it moving beautifully, and I’ll be darned if I’m not despondent when my kids pluck a different book off Grandma’s shelf. It’s just that wonderful. -Liz
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