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Review of Du Iz Tak?

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-6530-2    $16.99    g Picture books have traditionally been a rich source of neologisms. Grinch, knuffle: plums in the puddings of picture book texts. In this story, told in dialogue, Ellis pushes that tradition and invents an entire language. On the […]

Happy 100th birthday, Roald Dahl!

Roald Dahl wrote a lot, from short stories for adults to fantastical novels for kids. But what I love best about his work is the poetry, which he often tucked into his novels in the form of characters bursting into song. (Those Oompa Loompas had songs in the books with nary a “doopity doo.”) So […]

Beware the Jabberbook!

Or don’t beware. Be excited. Picture books with made-up words that make complete sense are my new favorite trend.   There’s Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette “Kleebo” Portis (Roaring Brook, July 2016; received a starred review in the May/June 2016 Horn Book Magazine), about two residents of Boborp who have been best […]

Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

Exunckly. Frobscottle. Geraneous Giraffe. Wonka bar. The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary (compiled by lexicographer Susan Rennie; Oxford University Press, September 2016) is “an extra-usual dictionary” (extra-usual, of course, meaning “extraordinarily large or extraordinarily powerful — or both, in the case of the BFG’s ears”). It includes everyday words related in some way to Roald Dahl’s […]