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Noah Webster and His Wordsby Jeri Ferris
Synopses & Reviews
Noah Webster always knew he was right [adj.: proper, correct], and he never got tired of saying so. Seasoned bio-graph-er [noun: One who writes a history of the life of a particular person], Jeri Chase Ferris, writes a fascinating nose-in-book account of the lex-i-con-ist [noun: writer of a lexicon], Noah Webster and his resistance to becoming another farmer in the family. Instead, he grew up to draft "the second Declaration of Independence": the first American Dictionary of the English Language. With Vincent X. Kirschs quirk-y [adj.: full of quirks, tricky] and playful illustrations illuminating the text, this clever biography is sure to grab young wordsmiths' attention.
"'Noah's dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English, after the Bible,' writes Ferris toward the end of this quick-witted biography of Webster, which more than does justice to the man and his body of work. Although Webster comes from a long line of farmers, 'Noah did not want to be in that long line.... Noah wanted to be a SCHOL-AR .' This mixture of biographical detail, humor, and vocabulary-building continues throughout Ferris's account, and Kirsch's scraggly mixed-media illustrations create a decidedly unstuffy atmosphere. Webster is shown with a round, oversize head and exaggerated spindly limbs; as words come to define Webster's life (so to speak), Kirsch occasionally uses swoopy script lettering as texture. Webster's commitment to the newly formed nation of America is as evident as his love of language; a timeline and author's note provide further detail about his life. A rousing success . Ages 4 — 8. Agent: Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, McIntosh & Otis. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An innovative picture book biography about the man who wrote American history by creating the first dictionary for the United States.
Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction
Websters American Dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English. But who was that Webster? Noah Webster (1758-1843) was a bookish Connecticut farm boy who became obsessed with uniting America through language. He spent twenty years writing two thousand pages to accomplish that, and the first 100 percent American dictionary was published in 1828 when he was seventy years old. This clever, hilariously illustrated account shines a light on early American history and the life of a man who could not rest until hed achieved his dream. An illustrated chronology of Websters life makes this a picture perfect bi-og-ra-phy [noun: a written history of a person's life].
About the Author
Vincent X. Kirsch is the author and illustrator who has worked with publishers such has Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, and Bloomsbury USA, where artwork for his first book Natalie and Naughtily was accepted into the 2008 Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He now lives in New York City. Noah Webster and His Words is his first book with Houghton Mifflin.
Visit his website at vincentxkirsch.com.
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