PB 14:14 and PPBF – The Right Word

Hold onto your hats, everyone! Today is Day Seven of Christie Wright Wild’s PB 14:14 AND Perfect Picture Book Friday. WOW! Just like the old Doublemint gum commercials.

And it is a triple whammy, because the book I’ve chosen is also in Kristen Fulton’s 52 Weeks of Charting Non-Fiction Picture Books. So after you enjoy this post, please hop around to read the other entries in:

PB 14:14 – http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/02/day-7-boris-and-wrong-shadow-by-leigh.html

Perfect Picture Book Friday: http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2015/02/perfect-picture-book-friday-bear-ate.html

52 Weeks of Charting Non-Fiction Picture Books: http://www.kristenfulton.org/dig-in/52-weeks-of-charting-nonfiction

And one of the reasons I picked this particular book is that it is all about words..and this is my 550th blog post – and that’s a WHOLE LOT OF WORDS!

the right word

Title: The Right Word – Roget and His Thesaurus

Author: Jen Bryant

Illustrator: Melissa Sweet

Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Date: 2014

Word Count:

Top Ten Element: WORD PLAY (also patterns and character and a whole lot more…it is a 2015 Sibert Medal Winner and a 2015 Caldecott Honor Book)

Age Level: School Library Journal recommends it for grades 2-5, but my grandson loved it and he is a kindergartener.
From Amazon: For shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions — and it wasn’t long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn’t write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time.


Opening Lines:

“Peter snuggled deeper into Uncle’s lap as the carriage clattered through the valleys of Switzerland. Baby Annette slept in Mother’s arms, a small pink blossom against a wall of black.

Father wasn’t coming back, Peter knew. Mother’s dark dress and Uncle’s sadness proved it.

Years later, when Peter began his lists, Father’s death came first.”

The book grabs us right away with the ingenious use of different fonts for the words. So right away, we know this is a story where words are going to be of the utmost importance.

The inner title page information is set against a backdrop of alphabet blocks. And the words on many of the pages are written as if in a list since lists are a hallmark of Roget’s life.

Roget was a man who was passionate about words – he wanted to find the exact right word for each thing he saw, for every emotion he felt.




















See what I mean!

Why I like this book:

  • Clever use of fonts and text size
  • I love books that show us the childhood of famous people
  • Wonderful illustrations give us a vintage feeling
  • Addresses the death of Roget’s father with sensitivity

How parents can use this book:

  • Encourage children to discover the power of words – learn how to use a thesaurus and dictionary
  • Make lists – toys in bin, books on shelf, friends I play with, etc.
  • Wonderful author’s notes and back matter to explore the topic further


Related Activity

  • YouTube video trailer:

  • Get a children’s thesaurus and have fun with your child, looking up a word and seeing how many other words have the same or similar meaning
  • Make lists

And guess what tomorrow is? That’s right…the third Saturday of the month. So please come back tomorrow for our next installment of Will Write for Cookies with author Donna McDine in the spotlight!

18 thoughts on “PB 14:14 and PPBF – The Right Word

  1. Truly BEAUTIFUL book! I just can’t like that cover. I know, I stand alone, probably anyway, but it does not have the same feeling I get when I open the book. Yes, I could be content, but fear other people might pass over it because they are cover-judgers – – like me!!! I just happen to love their collaborations already.


  2. What a wonderful picture book about Roget. I love that there are so many biographies for children about famous people as children. Will check this one out.
    And the Doublemint video sure dates me. I remember those.


  3. Way to kill three birds with one stone! Or, as my friend likes to more humanely say, ‘feed three birds with one seed.’ And congratulations on 550 blog posts – Wow!
    Great book choice. I’ve heard about this one, but haven’t read it myself yet, but you got me excited to go track it down, both for the story and the interesting way it’s laid out among those beautiful illustrations.


  4. This book sounds fabulous, Vivian! I look forward to reading it! Love the opening description of the baby as a small pink blossom – how lovely! And how unsurprising that young Peter might have wanted to impose some kind of order and control in his world with his lists. Congrats on 550 posts! and on checking three blog chores off your list with one book! 🙂


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