'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 12 August 2012

Review: 13 Words

It’s not every day that a children’s picture book manages include words such as ‘haberdashery’, ‘despondent’ and ‘panache’. With his trademark wit, Lemony Snicket manages to weave these and ten more random words into a quirky tale for young readers.

It’s a little offbeat and definitely unusual, but 13 Words is a wonderful concept for a book and it is one of my 8-year-old son’s regular bedtime story requests. The illustrations by Maira Kalman complement the story perfectly.

I love the idea of taking 13 seemingly unrelated words and working them together into a story. I think that this book works not only as a picture book, but as inspiration for a writing activity for older children or even adults.

I’m generally drawn to books that use words in clever and interesting ways and 13 Words certainly ticks both of those boxes.

For those who are intrigued and want to know, the 13 words are:
  1. Bird
  2. Despondent
  3. Cake
  4. Dog
  5. Busy
  6. Convertible
  7. Goat
  8. Hat
  9. Haberdashery
  10. Scarlet
  11. Baby
  12. Panache
  13. Mezzo-Soprano

Title:  13 Words
Author:  Lemony Snicket
Illustrator:  Maira Kalman
Publisher:HarperCollins, $27.99 RRP
Publication Date:  7 December 2010
Format:  Hardcover with dust jacket
ISBN:  9780061664663
For ages:  4+ years
Type: Picture book