Bryant, Jen. The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014.
The Right Word was my Caldecott book for my fifth graders last week. We talked about the book’s qualifications to be a Caldecott Honor book. I also had the students complete an activity on using the thesaurus.
I love the way The Right Word is designed. Melissa Sweet used watercolor, collage, and mixed media for her artwork. There are many lists throughout the book both in the texts and in the illustrations. This helps to give the reader a glimpse into the life of Peter Roget since that is what he did, and how the thesaurus got its start. Jen Bryant wrote the story in such a way that children will be interested in reading about the history behind the thesaurus. It is a biography of Peter Roget in addition to being a history of the thesaurus. The books closes with a chronology, author’s note, illustrator’s note, and bibliographic references making The Right Word a useful reference. The book was awarded The Robert F. Sibert Medal for non fiction as well as the Caldecott Honor for picture book illustrations.
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