As soon as I saw this book, I knew my eldest, 9, would love it. She’s a fantastic speller and so inquisitive about words. She and her twin have been poring over it together – sharing funny sections and asking each other the puzzles. It’s magic to watch.
The book is clever and funny and jam-packed with quick, fun activities and challenges. Author and “word nerd” David Astle plays with words, jumbles them up and hides them inside bigger words. He introduces spoonerisms, onomatopoeia and palindromes. He shows us the impact of typos. He shares insight about unusual words and explains how words are built and where they originated. And he makes it interesting.
The book is divided into 10 sections and there is something to tempt every reader. There’s references to pop culture, including Minecraft, Pokemon and emojis, sitting alongside dinosaurs, ghosts, Vikings and pirates. Sports feature too, as well as snippets about words from around the world, a few Dad jokes and a bit of toilet humour trivia.
There’s loads of fun, black and white illustrations that break up the text and also add humour.
This is a book to dip in and out of, to read aloud and share the funny parts and to complete at your leisure. It’s quite substantial and unlikely to be completed in one sitting – or even two or three.
David Astle’s Gargantuan Book of Words is written by David Astle, illustrated by Paul Tippett (both from Melbourne) and is published in October 2017 by Allen and Unwin.
You can buy a copy of David Astle’s Gargantuan Book of Words from your local book shop or online with free worldwide shipping.