The Weighty Word Book

Overview

"[The Weighty Word Book] will appeal to kids who want to sound as smart as they are. It offers a clever, funny way to introduce new words into the vocabulary. . . . There's one word for every letter of the alphabet—wait until you see what they do with dogmatic, juxtapose and zealot."—The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

"Each of these twenty-six short stories takes an elaborate, circuitous path that leads to a 'weighty' one-word punch line. . . . It's a creative and humorous approach to vocabulary building, ...

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Overview

"[The Weighty Word Book] will appeal to kids who want to sound as smart as they are. It offers a clever, funny way to introduce new words into the vocabulary. . . . There's one word for every letter of the alphabet—wait until you see what they do with dogmatic, juxtapose and zealot."—The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

"Each of these twenty-six short stories takes an elaborate, circuitous path that leads to a 'weighty' one-word punch line. . . . It's a creative and humorous approach to vocabulary building, and a natural lead in to having students create their own tall tales with multisyllabic conclusions."—School Library Journal

Provides definitions for twenty-six vocabulary words from abasement to zealot with stories containing puns that provide mnemonic devices for remembering the definitions.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Certainly this is a unique way to teach kids the meaning of more complex words—by introducing intricate stories that explain the meaning of each word. From A To Z, readers will be entertained by funny stories that illustrate difficult words such as truculent, xenophobia, laxity, and misdemeanor. 2000, Court Wayne Press, $17.95. Ages 5 to 12. Reviewer: G. Henebry SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Children's Literature
This book is a real hoot—a giggle-producing wonder. It is an alphabet book for mid-grade and even slightly older kids. That may seem rather strange, and the little stories that introduce each letter may seem even stranger, with animal characters whose stories end up vehicles for "weighty words'" meanings. The book does double-duty, then, as a vocabulary-builder, and the oddball characters and the situations in which they find themselves are captivating. The letter "C," for example, has as its story the tale of Cora the Hippo, who is a figure skater. Auditioning for an exhibition, she "jumped and spun in midair...Her loops and curves were glittering. Her costume was sparkling..." She so impressed the judge that he "walked away mumbling, 'boy, can that Cora skate...'" And the weighty word that you'll remember that means "to glitter or gleam, to sparkle or flash" is CORUSCATE. The illustrations are pure fun. Kids who love words will love this book. Highly recommended. 2000, Court Wayne Press, $17.95. Ages 8 to 15. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
Children's Literature - Phyllis J. Perry
Twenty-six vocabulary words, one offered for each letter of the alphabet, provide the basis for one- to three-page vignettes, each containing puns that provide mnemonic devices for remembering definitions of difficult words. For example, four foreigners in a bar are laughed at by the locals when in heavily accented voices they place their drink order: "Please, vee vant ...zen, uh, fo bee-hu" which teaches the word "xenophobia." Similarly, the careless sign painter who left off the letter "S" when he painted the sign for Slack City, ends up with a sign, "Lack City," which teaches the word "laxity." The clever stories are elaborate in construction, taking round-about paths to lead to the punch line. Delightful color illustrations, mostly of animals, enliven this reprint of the original book. This creative approach will appeal to those who enjoy puns and vocabulary-building taught in a colorful picture book format. Reviewer: Phyllis J. Perry
From The Critics
Paul M. Levitt, Douglas A. Burger, and Elissa S. Guralnick are three professors of English who have effectively collaborated to create a vocabulary for children that is illustrated throughout by the artistry of Caldecott winner Janet Stevens. The big words in The Weighty Word Book (one for each letter of the alphabet) were selected for both their frequency in the written language and their sound. The sound of each multi-syllable word lends itself to a pun, which forms the basis for the story that follows. Although the stories are fanciful, they each lead to the correct meaning of the word that inspired them. The stories and the puns become memory hooks and encourage young readers to increase their vocabularies by forming mnemonics for any new words they encounter. The Weighty Word Book is a welcome and high priority acquisition choice for both school and community libraries, and would prove invaluable for home schooling curriculum supplementation as well.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570983139
  • Publisher: Rinehart, Roberts Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1st Roberts Rinehart Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 9 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.38 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul M. Levitt is a professor at the University of Colorado. He is also author of Chin Music (also available from Roberts Rinehart).

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 4, 2010

    First Edition?

    I was just wondering if anyone could help me find a the copyright information for the first edition of this book. I'd love to find one!

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    One of my kids' favorite books EVER

    My "kids" are now 27, 27 and 29! And they still talk about this book. They read it in second grade (the first edition) and to this day remember stories of "coruscate" (Look at Cora Skate in her shiny costume), geriatric, kleptomaniac and other vocab words. I recently brought up this book in conversation and they all decided they needed to buy a copy for when they have kids. Weighty Words had a lot more lasting impact than anything else they read in school.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2006

    WOW!!!

    it was so amazing!! it helped me be smarter than my college teacher!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2005

    My 5th grader loves this book

    I was looking for a book to help expand my daughters vocabulary. After looking at it I decided to give it for a gift to her teacher, but once my daughter looked at this book there was no getting it back. She loves the stories and she and I have both learned new words. The stories make it so easy to remember the word meaning and the pronunciation of the word. If you want a book to expand your childs vocabulary or even your own this is the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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