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Edited by K.L. Cordner et al.

Toronto, Editions Renyi Inc., 1989. 188pp, cloth, $24.95, ISBN 0-921606-00-1.
Distributed by Editions Renyi Inc., 355 Adelaide Street West, Suite 400, Toronto, Ont. M5V 1S2.

Grades 3 and up/Ages 8 and up
Reviewed by Elizabeth Lockett.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

The Ashley Dictionary is the basis for a series of bilingual dictionaries. The illustrations in four colours are frequently amusing, but drawings of plants and animals are not accurate representations for identification purposes. Words are frequently used in phrases but are not defined. American spelling is used but, where appropriate, English spelling is added with an asterisk (favor/favour*). Some phrases might offend some people: "People who smoke are like skunks."

Ashley is supposed to be the girl for whom the book was written. We read, "Ashley's mom loves adventure," and the picture shows a woman in a sun hat with a snake curled round a branch over her head with the caption "adventure."

By the time an English speaking child can read well enough to use this dictionary, he or she will probably be able to use a regular dictionary or other reference book. The choice of words and terms is often surprising. Admiral is included but not engineer; beech but not palm. Pictures that identify objects are usually clear but those identifying concepts need explanation. A number of words and terms in common use today-­pollution, drugs and recycling-are not included.

I do not think that this publication would work well as a dictionary for young English speaking children. It might be useful with older children who enjoy pictures but read reluctantly.

Elizabeth Lockett, Niagara Falls, Ont.
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