Need to buy a dictionary?

Recently, I needed to buy a dictionary.  And quickly.  At Sunday morning worship service, our pastor made the congregation aware of an opportunity to replace some school supplies that were destroyed in the recent flooding in West Virginia.  Loving these kind of projects that particularly bless teachers and kids, I looked over the requested items.  Crayons, notebooks, markers…A DICTIONARY!  I’ll get that and return it by the deadline later in the week.  This provided a great reason to head to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet for a book (or two or three).  I did find a couple of dictionaries there, but they were paperback and didn’t seem very child friendly.  Great prices weren’t enough.  This kind of heartfelt goal propelled me to the full-priced book store in our mall.  The clerk directed me to the dictionaries, and there were lots to choose from.  I needed a way to differentiate.

Leafing through the books, I was drawing a blank on what words to look up.  Then, noticing that the proper names of people were included, I chose to find the publishers’ definitions of “Jesus”.  Some said simply “the founder of Christianity” – like “the founder of Facebook”.  Not enough.  Then I spotted the MacMillan Dictionary for Children.  Look!  There are dinosaurs on the front!


As I opened this substantial volume and thumbed through for the  J pages, which, by the way, has an advantage for children over typing in a word and having a definition pop up on a screen, I was visually pleased by the abundance of colorful illustrations.  Ah, here it is:


In my mind’s eye, I could see a kid looking this up and wondering, “Why would people think that this man was the son of God?”  What a great question!  Perhaps more research would follow.  The $20 price seemed reasonable for a book that could interest kids, inform them, and develop curiosity and a love of learning.  I wish that I had looked up the dinosaurs before hurrying the dictionary to the school supply deposit at my church, but I did randomly open up to the butterfly definition and found this beautiful graphic illustration.


Here is the description of the MacMillan Children’s Dictionary that I found at on-line booksellers’ sites.

Product Description

The #1 children’s dictionary in America is now completely revised with a stunning design! With more than 3,000 images and 35,000 up-to-date entries, the most trusted name in children’s reference is easy to navigate and fun to peruse. Authoritative, accurate, and current, the Macmillan Dictionary for Children is the ideal resource for beginning readers and spellers. Recommended for ages 8 to 12, grades 3 to 6.
It’s a great resource for kids.  On-line reviewers testify to kids carrying it around with them and reading it for fun.   But I think I would edit the description to include ages up to 99.  I’m tempted to get a copy for myself, and no doubt would pick it up before using my “adult dictionary”.   Here are a couple of sites where you can find The MacMillan Children’s Dictionary for less than $20.
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