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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet is a picture book biography. What a fascinating book.  Peter Roget must have been a genius, a doctor's degree at age 19.  I'm sure it cannot be counted how much his life has contributed to science.  
The illustrations were created with watercolor, collage, and mixed media. I love how Melissa is able to capture such a captivating life in such a prodigious way.  Her approach to collage with little bits of drawing, painting, papers, maps, different kinds of paper, and text totally caught my imagination.  I have myself thought so many times about how wonderful it is to find just the right word to describe how I feel or think.  I'm pretty sure I'll have to have this book for myself. 
I'll use this title with 2nd grade students and older, using it for third person narrative and relating to it's use of synonyms. There isn't another Roget children's biography to compare it to, but you could compare it to another biography by Bryant and Sweet -A splash of red : the life and art of Horace Pippin or A river of words : the story of William Carlos Williams. I think it would be a great way to get students to start keeping a journal of ideas, stories, lists, drawings, etc. for themselves.  Just to have a place to write things down and be able to ponder them later. 
I'd also like to use this with my homeschool group next year.  This gives me some stimulating ideas to perk up those lesson plans.

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