Illustrated by Eric Comstock. Paula Wiseman Books, Simon and Schuster, 2018.
*STARRED REVIEW Publishers Weekly "Bored with sitting in a dictionary 'day in, day out,' the words make a break for it and organize a parade—which lets Sierra (WildAbout You!) and Comstock (the Charlie Piechart series) introduce linguistics terminology in just about the most playful way possible . . . . It's all lexicographical fun and games, but eventually Noah Webster himself herds the words back between the dictionary covers. Working in a limited palette of orange, olive, and pale blue, Comstock brings the words to vivid anthropomorphic life while visually underscoring each concept (the letters in 'please' gaze at readers through eager, beseeching eyes—eyes that close tight after the letters rearrange themselves into their anagram, 'asleep'). It's the very definition of wordplay. Ages 4—8.
*STARRED REVIEW Kirkus "Teachers will have field day with this wordplay; this caper is clever, capricious, and cunning."
*STARRED REVIEW ALA Booklist "'Words can get bored. They sit in the dictionary, day in, day out,' begins this delightful picture book from Sierra (Wild about Books, 2004), depicting what happens when dictionary words break free from their pages and have a parade. It’s all fun and word games, but in the process, readers will also get a tidy lesson in linguistic concepts, like onomatopoeia and contractions. Each concept is exemplified and playfully portrayed by animated, anthropomorphized words and their accoutrements. The “onomatopoeia marching band” leads the way, and features words like bang, clang, and honk. Subsequent spreads include action verbs (with a spinning spin and gliding glide); homophones; anagrams; rhyming words; and even indignant nonrhyming words, which hold protest signs (penguin’s reads “What’s so special about rhyming?”). Eventually, Noah Webster appears, instructing the words to return to the dictionary—however, turn the page and it seems Roget’s Thesaurus’ synonym words are looking to escape, too (skedaddle, decamp). While not explicitly defining concepts in the main text (that comes in an appended glossary), this is a charming, peppy introduction, enhanced by Comstock’s energetic, retro-flair illustrations, which fill the pages with cavorting words and creative details, like the “Hollyword” setting. In approach and format, this is both entertaining and educational—likely to hold and pique kids’ interest in the topic and provide a fun learning supplement."