Reviews /

Every Word Tells A Story – An extraordinary A to Z of etymological exploration

Authored by Tom Read Wilson
Illustrated by Ian Morris
Published by Quarto Publishing PLC

Every Word Tells A Story, explores the etymology of over one hundred wonderful words, through rhyme and a series of stunning illustrations. This book’s creation stems from the author’s sheer love of and fascination with words. Choosing four words from each letter of the alphabet, each section is designed to be a celebration of language with each word telling its own story.

Two spreads are dedicated to each letter: the first has four sections – a ‘star word,’ whose definition is written as a poem; a table which summarises the meaning and origin; a section exploring the etymology and some fascinating facts. The second spread explores three more words, not necessarily connected in any way but each of which are equally intriguing. The text is minimal – not too much to put off less reluctant readers but enough to facilitate learning, discovery and discussion.

The illustrations make this book extremely appealing. They fill each spread, beautifully complementing each word with a visual representation of its meaning. Children will be able to dive into the book, explore it in whichever order they choose, experiencing the wealth of information that is available to them through both the illustrations and the text.

This should be in every class and school library. It would fit very well from Year 3 onwards but can equally be used with younger children if guided by an adult.

Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2024 Information Books 3-14+