The revised, 21st-century edition of The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
, designed for ages 8 and older, doesn't contain the words "plethora," "treacle," "metaphor," or "reciprocal." What use is it, then? you may ask yourself, but that's a question that many kids could answer for you. The letters are large enough to read! Every word is used in a sentence! There are over 800 color photos and illustrations! When you look up the word "erratic" in The American Heritage Dictionary
for grownups (Third Edition), it says, "1. Lacking consistency or uniformity; irregular. 2. Unconventional; eccentric." When you look "erratic" up in this children's dictionary, it is defined as, "Not following a steady or usual course; irregular. Our rowboat's course was erratic after we lost our oars.
" More third-grader-friendly? Certainly.
More than 400 words have been added to this edition--"electronic mail," "online," "seersucker," "vagabond," and "millennium," to name a few. This hefty, appealing hardcover dictionary contains 14,000 main entries and 37,000 boldface forms; it's the only children's dictionary to feature a 10-page phonics guide to help early readers sound out and spell words; and it includes a thesaurus (even if it is very basic, at six pages long). Throughout the book are information blocks such as "Word History" ("hibernate" comes from the Latin word for winter), "Language Detective" (how do you pronounce "creek" where you live?), "Vocabulary Builder" (with word parts such as "-less"); and "Synonyms." If you're looking for word fun for the whole family, younger children ages 4 to 6 may enjoy The American Heritage Picture Dictionary, and older kids ages 11 to 15 might find The American Heritage Student Dictionary helpful. It's never too early to give your children the tools they need to learn! --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-8?With 37,000 entries and well-placed color illustrations on almost every double page, this revision of the 1994 edition has a fresh, appealing look. More than 400 new entries have been added, including "geode," "Ramadan," "millennium," "cyberspace," and "World Wide Web." The entry words are not split into syllables so they are easier to read than in many dictionaries. Sample sentences using the word are italicized and homophones are listed. The syllabication, pronunciation, plural, and parts of speech round out each entry. For selected words, there are boxed examples of synonyms used in sentences. "Word History" facts are given for interesting cases and are set off by purple bars. "Vocabulary Builder" boxes are set off in orange and give general rules and examples for use of common prefixes and suffixes. An excellent usage guide and a full-page pronunciation key appear at the beginning of the book. The main entries are followed by a short thesaurus, a section on phonics and spelling, a seven-page geography section, a double-spread world map, and a U.S. map. There are no biographical entries. Colorful, attractive, and easy to use, this dictionary will fill the needs of students. It is similar to the revised Macmillan Dictionary for Children (S & S, 1997), so personal taste should dictate choice, or buy them both.?Priscilla Bennett, State University of West Georgia
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.