"Lost Words" Robert Macfarlane (author) and Jackie Morris (illustrator) - for children of all ages (1 Viewer)

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Linda

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Learned something new in reading about this book. The gods of youth dictionaries also remove words they deem "out of use". What might people do when they find out willow, fern, dandelion, and others were deemed no longer relevant? If you are Macfarlane and Morris then you create a wonderland of book.

... Jackie Morris speaking .... The seeds of the idea for The Lost Words came from Robert’s earlier book, Landmarks. My idea was simple: to take some of the nature and landscape words from that book - common words that were falling from common usage - and make gold leaf, icon-like images on one page, with the dictionary definition on the opposite page. A wild dictionary, if you like. I wrote to Robert to ask if he might write the introduction. And this is where the book grew, because he saw something more, asking if I might work with him on a book.
So, it was Robert’s idea to make this a ‘spell-book’ – to have three spreads per word, the first marking a loss, a slipping away, the second being a summoning spell, and the third being the word spelled back into language, hearts, minds and landscape.

... Robert Macfarlane speaking .... We want this book to conjure back the common words and species that are steadily disappearing from everyday life - and especially from children’s stories and dreams.
In a Cambridge University study, conservationists found British primary schoolchildren 'substantially better' at identifying Pokémon characters than species of common British wildlife. https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2017/designing-the-lost-words/

As someone who teaches children about the natural world and where our food comes from, I was shocked about the deletion of these words. Once these words leave our knowledge base then so does our connection to the greater wonders of the world. Also, it creates a larger gap to native foods and remedies. The dandelion is a prime example - the tea has so many uses.

I've only seen the book online, but it definitely is one I plan to add to our library. It seems like a family book that will be passed down through the generations.

The children I see are from all walks of life, and they are genuinely interested and amazed with the simple information I share. One boy showed me how important this knowledge is when he said "When I come again, will you tell me more things?". Yes, darlin, yes I will.


I found it on Amazon for $25 and Barnes and Noble for $32. So, check around with your booksellers.
 
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Linda

Linda

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Oh, I forgot about one of my big points - messages from the natural world. I get a lot of them, the most recent being with the Great Blue Heron. What happens if you don't have words for the wonders of nature? I think in many cases, the sight, sound, or smell might not even register in the awareness.

Ouch - seems like a barren world for some.
 
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Angela

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I am appalled that those words are considered out of use. How? How is it even possible that the yellow flower kids see in their own yards isn't pertinent enough to remember to use the word dandelion?

Goodness.
I'm going to look into the book because it sounds magical.
 
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Linda

Linda

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I am appalled that those words are considered out of use
It was the junior dictionary published in the UK.
Perhaps June Pod or Toller could tell us if dandelions are relevant in the UK.
 

Pod

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Yes dandelions are relevant. I have come across this before, in one of MacFarlane's books. How words for plants and animals in nature are being dropped from junior dictionaries. It has to be deliberate, disconnecting a generation from nature. Other words dropped include
Acorn, blackberry, bluebell, conker and “perhaps the one that cut the deepest” for Morris, “kingfisher”

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris review – sumptuous
 
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June

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I hadn’t realised this was happening, thanks for the heads up, going to look up that book.

Makes me wonder if there is an agenda here, is it deliberate, slowly cutting us off from everything natural, in a few generations kids won’t know anything about nature. It’s lovely to watch a toddler blow the seeds from a dandelion, the look of wonder on their little faces as they blow away like fairies. So much magic in just that simple thing.

My schoolteacher granddaughter is so frustrated with trying to do her job as she thinks it should be done, making teaching fun, really being interested in the kids, she thinking of going to teach abroad. She says that she gets moaned at because she won’t have lists of to do’s up in her classroom.
She organised a game with water pistols, the kids had a great time especially squirting teacher, she was told she should have asked permission but knew she wouldn’t get it.
Kids need to go on nature walks for a lesson, we used to. All they want the kids to do is study, stick rigidly to lists.

No fun, a polluted, grey world, kids dumbed down living in a completely technical world. Sounds like some of these alien types dream. Maybe I’m wrong but this is how they work, chip chip chipping away for hundreds of years, so slow we don’t notice.
 

Hailstones Melt

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I hadn’t realised this was happening, thanks for the heads up, going to look up that book.

Makes me wonder if there is an agenda here, is it deliberate, slowly cutting us off from everything natural, in a few generations kids won’t know anything about nature. It’s lovely to watch a toddler blow the seeds from a dandelion, the look of wonder on their little faces as they blow away like fairies. So much magic in just that simple thing.

My schoolteacher granddaughter is so frustrated with trying to do her job as she thinks it should be done, making teaching fun, really being interested in the kids, she thinking of going to teach abroad. She says that she gets moaned at because she won’t have lists of to do’s up in her classroom.
She organised a game with water pistols, the kids had a great time especially squirting teacher, she was told she should have asked permission but knew she wouldn’t get it.
Kids need to go on nature walks for a lesson, we used to. All they want the kids to do is study, stick rigidly to lists.

No fun, a polluted, grey world, kids dumbed down living in a completely technical world. Sounds like some of these alien types dream. Maybe I’m wrong but this is how they work, chip chip chipping away for hundreds of years, so slow we don’t notice.
What people don't realise, is this type of forced academia just leads to kids doubting their own abilities. They lose confidence in that they will be able to perform to standard.

Some people are hard-wired to compete, others not. People are not machines, but flowers, who find their own fragrance and unfolding in their own good time.

Adults need to respect that, about children. Otherwise, we are stultifying them.
 
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Pod

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I could not let this go, so I found a way to write about it on the Facebook page I administer for Dumfries. I real*eyesed that we have all the British words in this town, so that was my hook.

Ootn Aboot Dumfries
Yesterday at 07:53 ·
THE LOST WORDS ALL FOUND IN DUMFRIES

Several years ago I read, to my great distress, that the Oxford Junior Dictionary was discarding words like blackberry, cauliflower, bluebell, otter, crocus, kingfisher and goldfinch and replacing them with words like analogue, cut and paste, chatroom, block graph, and most cringeworthy, celebrity (spit) They even discarded dandelion!

It is widely accepted that if we do not have a word for something then we cannot conceive of it; there is a proven link between vocabulary, imagination and creativity. It is also widely accepted that play in nature is vital for the health and well being of our children.

Luckily, many wise and committed people raised their voices in protest at this slow slide into techno babble and wonderful things have come about since. Most notably a beautiful book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris called "The Lost Words" (I will put a link at the bottom for those who wish to explore further)

It came to me this morning that all the British lost words, especially kingfisher and otter can be found in Dumfries (obviously we do not have panther or leopard)

If you walk the river in Dock Park you can often see flocks of goldfinches feeding on thistle and other seeds. I have seen kingfishers on the river, flying beneath the radar as they fish for their young. Otters are regularly spotted as is our in house heron.
We should publicise this!

Anyway, here is a link. Enjoy a wonderful way to start 2020.
https://www.penguin.co.uk/…/bl…/the-lost-words--one-year-on/
No photo description available.
 

Angela

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I got the book from the library. It is really beautiful. Not even just for the illustrations. There are poems for each one and they are very lovely and fun to read. Bringing more life to each word.
I think I will buy this one, for my son and myself.
For example:
15779870375981286100221.jpg
 

Hailstones Melt

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The trouble with Big Brother watching you, is that Big Brother's imagination is less than the size of a gnat!

(And get a 10-year old to spell gnat, and keep the g!)
 

Alain

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true all is learning and the fun part is reduced to 0 except you are a genius and are largely outstanding the rest of the students
 
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