‘Shona, Word Detective,’ by John Agard, illustrations by Michael Broad.

Don’t be a quakebottom! Prepare to be bumbazed by maverick lexicographer, Professor Crystal-Bloomer in this delightful celebration of long-lost and forgotten words.


Shona is a lover of words and has even started compiling her own thesaurus. She is dismayed to hear on the news that some languages are on the brink of dying out completely as there’s only a handful native speakers alive. Luckily her teacher, Miss Bates, is just as passionate and decides that her class will become word detectives and lovingly curate a language-nest to share with their families, and a couple of unexpected guests….

This book is an ode to words in all their obscure and unusual glory and a celebration of other cultures. Full of humour, lexicography and a love of language.

It’s also worth noting that, as part of the Barrington Stoke range, ‘Shona, Word Detective,’ is printed on lightly-tinted paper and used a special font designed to make the reading experience easier for the dyslexic reader. Do not think that only dyslexic people should read these titles – they’re all short snappy threads by brilliant authors so are fantastic for everybody!

Library Girl.

*Thank you to Barrington Stoke for sending me this title to review*

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