Book Review: Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z


Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z
By: Irene Latham and Charles Waters
Illustrated by: Mehrdokht Amini
Reviewed by: Elisabeth Greenberg

Irene Latham and Charles Waters use their pens to write poetry but their minds and voices to create a better world — one that envisions people of kindness and courage, empathy, and compassion. By creating a dictionary of the values they cherish and using different forms of poetry to explore each word, they challenge the spirits and minds of their readers. The writers explore each word through a poem, an anecdote from their own lives, a quotation, and a Try it! suggestion. Readers can discover a layered experience of each word as they peruse the poem, match it with the story, ponder the quotation and then perhaps take up the suggestion to do something as simple as riding a bike to explore nature or as revealing as recognizing that sometimes they are compelled to do something from the heart and journaling about that overwhelming desire. Illustrator Mehrdokht Amini brings her own zest for art and poetry into the illustrations, which add yet another layer of meaning to each spread. This book is a great read by itself and can be used as a resource by teachers and parents as well as children.

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