#NNFN ‘Every Word Tells a Story,’ by Tom Read Wilson, illustrated by Ian Morris.

This is the first of my blog posts helping The Federation of Children’s Book Groups spread the word about some amazing information books during National Non-Fiction November. Today, I’m sharing ‘Every Word Tells a Story’ – a fascinating title about the origins of over one hundred words.

‘See how the English language evolved in this extraordinary exploration of the origins of everyday words. Full of funny stories andfascinating facts, Tom Read Wilson knows even the most ordinary-sounding word can have the most surprising story behind it!

Did you know, for instance, that: 

  • The word ‘bloomers’ comes from Amelia Bloomer, who was a women’s rights activist and owner and editor of the first U.S. newspaper edited by and for women, who wanted to move more freely in her knickers? 
  • Or that the word ‘daisy’ comes from the Old English dæges eage, meaning ‘day’s eye’, because the petals of a daisy open at dawn and close at dusk? 
  • The word ‘easel’ comes from the Dutch word ‘ezel’, meaning donkey, because both are depenable and suitable for carrying a load? 
  • Or that English nicknames for police officers, ‘bobbies’ and ‘peelers’, both come from the names of Sir Robert Peel, British prime minister in the 1800s and creator of the first modern police force? 

Each fascinating word is explored through a quirky, amusing story alongside the etymology, word origin and definition. 

Paired with beautiful, characterful illustrations by Ian Morris, Every Word Tells a Story is a perfect book for young wordsmiths, encouraging kids and adults alike to have fun whilst learning about language.’

One of my favourite spreads was all about gargoyles. I love hunting for them when I’m out and about but had never really thought about where the actual word came from. OF COURSE it’s derived from the Old French for throat!

The blend of poetry, bite-sized nuggets of information, and vibrant illustrations make for a fantastic read. I’d recommend this for budding etymologists, fans of Susie Dent, and classrooms across the land.


*Many thanks to the FCBG for arranging for Quarto Publishing to send me a copy of this title to enjoy*

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