Review: The Magic Dictionary

The Magic Dictionary, written and illustrated by Bruce Whatley.

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About: A boy gets a magic dictionary for his birthday. Every word he looks up comes to life around him in some way. Bruce Whatley’s son first came up with the idea, and Bruce turned it into a book. We’ve got quite a few books illustrated by Bruce in this house, and this one has less whimsy in the method of art than others – but the picture concepts and story well and truly make up for that. Kid 7 has been asking for a magic dictionary for their birthday ever since they got this book as a Kid 5, and has been willing to read through a couple of picture dictionaries just to check and see if they happen to be magic ones.

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“Then when I looked up L-I-T-T-L-E I had trouble closing the dictionary again. But looking up P-L-A-N-E-T was just out of this world.”

Good things:

  • Word play – including homophones and spelling,
  • Text models looking words up in a dictionary
  • Just a little silly!
  • Plenty of imagination involved
  • Australian author
  • Aussie language/spelling
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