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Edited by Sophie Arthaud et al.

Toronto, Editions Renyi Inc., 1989. 188pp, cloth, $24.95, ISBN 0-921606-02-8.
Distributed by Editions Renyi Inc., 355 Adelaide Street West, Suite 400, Toronto, Ont. M5V 1S2

Grades 1 to 9/Ages 6 to 14/Core or immersion French
Reviewed by Nancy Tully.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

Dictionnaire Francais is a bilingual dictionary, English-French, containing 3,336 terms. The items are arranged on each page in alphabetical order in English with an item number on the bottom left corner of each item. Each term is illustrated with cartoon like drawings in four colours. They are non-sexist and non-racist and adequately represent the text.

Some abstract terms are explained without the use of illustrations, but with explanatory sentences that create a context. There is an index in the back of the dictionary in French, linking the French words to the English by the item number.

In a children's dictionary it is usually difficult to decide which words to include and which ones to leave out. For Dictionnaire Francais, word selection was based partly on "word frequency analysis of English usage (in order to include the most commonly used terms), and partly on thematic clustering (in order to cover major fields of activity or interest)."

The English text is in black print, along with the item numbers, while the French text is in red. The index itself is also in red, and I found this somewhat distracting. I also found the fact that the English terms were on the bottom section of each square under the illustration instead of on top awkward; it was hard to follow alphabetical order, since the French terms were on top of each picture.

This is a fun dictionary for children of all ages to "read," as well as a useful teaching tool for core or immersion French programs.

Nancy Tully, Second Street Junior-Middle School, Etobicoke, Ont.
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