Well, here is the promised post all about a single book!
When an article appeared about a new edition of a children’s dictionary having lost some words about nature to make room for new words about technology, most people were disappointed. One person, who acted on his disappointment, was Robert Macfarlane (mentioned on my blog here).
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris has been more successful than anyone could have imagined. What has happened around it is now described as a movement. There have been crowd-funded appeals to place the book in every school in various counties around Britain. It has been used in homes for older people. Twitter is full of it. Jackie Morris has developed a new alphabet using otters in various positions to represent the letters. Her artwork has been auctioned to raise money for charities. The price of the book itself includes a donation to Action for Conservation. Another charity it is involved with is the John Muir Trust.
I received a copy of the book as a present, having seen it first at a writers’ conference.
It is a large format book. Each word has its own acrostic. The artwork is wonderful. There are hidden words and absent shapes.
It is a book, which works at many levels. It has inspired more pictures and writing, through its use in schools. There have been exhibitions in London and Edinburgh. It has also inspired a musical spin-off.
I learned that there are alternative spellings for a word, which I’d have spelled with four letters. With three it is a homonym of an animal. I began to write my own verse. Towards the end of June it had four lines. Four days later I added two more.
In The Lost Words
I found a yak.
It made a racket
Looking for other herds.
Did you ever spy a yak
With a magpie on its back?
If you have read this far, I have an acrostic especially for you.