________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 8 . . . . December 14, 2001

cover The Puffin Canadian Beginner's Dictionary. 2nd ed.

Ken Weber, ed.
Toronto, ON: Puffin Books, 2001.
308 pp., pbk. & cl., $14.99 (pbk.), $24.00 (cl.).
ISBN 0-14-130966-0 (pbk.), ISBN 0-670-89326-9 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
English language-Dictionaries, Juvenile.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

excerpt:

interface when two or more parts of a computer work together

resolve to decide very firmly: I resolve to do exercises every day.

splint a straight piece of wood or metal tied to a broken bone to make it stable.

Designed to introduce six-to-nine year-olds to the usefulness of a dictionary, this volume contains more than 6,000 definitions and over 300 black-and-white illustrations. The entries, definitions and examples of word usage have been selected according to their frequency of use among the children in the targeted age group and their occurrence in the students' immediate environment. In keeping with students' increasing use of computers and the Internet, contemporary words of a technological nature are also included.

     Large upper and lower case letters, located beside the page numbers, help students flipping through the book to find a general section. Entry words, printed in boldface type, are followed by one or more definitions (if there are several definitions, each one is numbered and appears on a new line). Sometimes the word's phonetic spelling is given; at other times, the word is used in a sentence. Irregular or difficult plural and verbal forms are provided as well. The page layout and the fairly large and simple text font keep the pages clean, clear and crisp-looking, making it easier to locate specific entries. One questions the omission of guide words (by nine years of age, most students should be able to use these) and why the phonetic spelling of some fairly easy words is included, but that of more difficult words is not. For example, the pronunciation for "deserted" is given, but there is none for "mosque" or "reservoir." Also, the authors claim that they have based their selection of entries on those words most likely to be needed (and heard) by children in the six-to-nine age range, but how many kids of that age need to use the words "microcosm," "Latter Day Saints" and "heterosexual" in their daily conversations?

     At the back of the book, there are several appendices of Canadian facts and figures, including a list of provinces, their capitals and provincial emblems, provincial websites, Canadian prime ministers and other Canadian trivia. How often these lists will be used remains uncertain.

Recommended with reservations.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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