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Macmillan Dictionary for Children Hardcover – July 10, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

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Dictionaries designed for the upper-elementary- and middle-school crowd try to nudge children up the language ladder by including parts of speech, inflected forms, and pronunciation and also adding more advanced dictionary features, such as syllabification, cross-references, and idioms. This dictionary is no exception. It was last issued in 2001, but instead of updating, the publisher has acquired a completely new work. There are still approximately 35,000 entries but now almost 3,000 images (the previous edition had 1,100 illustrations, most of them photographs) and numerous differences in layout and design, making for a livelier, if also denser looking, page. Entries contains the usual elements, such as parts of speech, pronunciation, and variants and inflected forms, but otherwise bear little resemblance to those in past editions, with a different arrangement, different definitions, sample sentences, word histories, and usage notes. There are no synonyms, which comparable dictiionaries have. Other changes include feature panels on topics such as geothermal regions, killer whales, and optical illustions. Users will no longer find entries for place-names or the fairly detailed "Story of English" at the beginning of the volume, and the reference section at the back of the volume is a bit skimpier (no more thesaurus, no more weights and measures). This dictionary remains a good choice for the older children in its designated age range. The many illustrations, some of which take up half a page, add interest and will invite browsing. Children at the lower end of the range will have an easier time with The American Heritage Children's Dictionary (2003), which has simpler definitions and a less-crowded design. Quinn, Mary Ellen
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Rev Upd edition (July 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416939598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416939597
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By scientific mom on August 10, 2011
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My soon-to-be 2nd grader asked for a dictionary like they use in the classroom (in 1st grade) to look up the spelling of words. Knowing that interest would soon expand to looking up definitions, I wanted to find a dictionary that had definitions I thought were both understandable and appropriate. So I went into a brick-and-mortar store to compare all the Children's Dictionaries for this age group.
After flipping through them all, I narrowed down my example words to two: "sister" and "sex." The definition for the word "sister" was far more clear and simple than the other books. Some of the others included words my daughter would not know the meaning of, potentially leading her on an endless jouney through the book just to properly understand the definition for "sister". After reading the definition in THIS book, I thought to myself 'could the others not have made it this easy and clear??' The "sister" definition here was far and away more concise.
For 2nd grade, I really did not want a Children's dictionary that described ALL the meanings of "sex" (as one example). All the dictionaries first included the 'gender' definition of "sex" but this was the only one in the store that left out the 'act of intercourse' type of definition. Does a 7-yr-old really need that anyway?? Mine certainly wouldn't have understood it. Her 5th grade dictionary can venture into that, but for now I'm going to leave her as innocent as I can.
Lastly, I would like to echo the other reviewers' opinions that this book is beautiful, sturdy, bright and inviting. Any child would love it!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By amanooensis on May 2, 2008
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We needed a dictionary for our child to use in grade school, something easier to read than the college-level books we had on hand, but more sophisticated than the typical baby-book, beginner dictionaries out there. This book met our expectations, and exceeded them. (Note, I'm reviewing the 2007 edition. Some of the reviews here go back years!)

Another reviewer has aptly noted the book's appropriateness for Grades 2 through 4, which sounds about right, for a starting point at least. I wouldn't think it useful (as a reference book) before that age, due to the reading level of the book's explanations. Most kids before that age just won't be able to read it.

I'm sure many kids will like the pictures at earlier ages. Even a good reader may ask for help now and then. But if the parent is doing *all* the reading, the book loses some of its value as a reference source that the child can learn to use independently.

Independent research is one of the skills that many schools are trying to teach to this age range in literacy classes, which is why they assign kids to look up words on their own -- and why this book is so valuable to have at home. With 35,000 entries, it takes on many words that deal with complex ideas -- but it does a pretty good of translating those complexities into terms that kids can comprehend.

When necessary, it does this by using pictures, and to great effect. For example, the word "contrast" is not only explained in text, but is also illustrated by showing a Great Dane next to a Chihuahua, with an explanatory caption. The numerous illustrations in this book are used for many purposes, and they are very well-done.

For clarity, the editors do not include the complex etymologies that an adult volume might offer for every single word.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dave Brown on March 17, 2009
As I was at the book store, I laid the 5 choices on the floor at once and choose words to see what each would represent. For this one, I liked the pictures, the descriptions that were the "right length" and it just felt right for my son.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Ellingwood VINE VOICE on October 13, 2007
I have several dictionaries in my classroom but this is the by far the best illustrated dictionary I own. I teach middle school ESOL students and other children's dictionaries don't cover enough words to help them with the work they need to do. This dictionary is more likely to contain words and illustrations they need to know. Highly recommended!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Rodriguez on January 19, 2013
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I chose this dictionary because of its high ratings and the comments left by other buyers. I teach 2nd grade English learners and am responsible for expanding vocabulary, syllabication, and parts of speech. I have been frustrated by other dictionaries because, if they're 'for children', they just don't contain the words we need. This dictionary has 30,000 words, like an adult one, but the definitions are clear and concise, with context-rich example sentences. My second-graders couldn't wait to get their hands on it and found themselves able to look up words with just a little assistance. Also, the illustrations are visually captivating and illuminating. I bought it with my Prime account, making it affordable, and was able to purchase one per table group. I would HIGHLY recommend this dictionary to anyone who truly wants a tool that kids can and will use.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Deen on December 28, 2008
This dictionary is essential for upper elementary students and early middle schoolers not quite ready for the transition to an "adult" dictionary. Fortunately it doesn't scream "children's dictionary" with cartoonish illustrations or a cutesy cover. Definitions are clear and illustrations are excellent. It does not skimp on science and geographical information as some children's dictionaries do. All in all, it is an excellent dictionary for the price.
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