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A History of Words for Children

Mary Richards, Rose Blake


A history of the world told through the prism of language, from Shakespeare to Anne Frank, Martin Luther King to Greta Thunberg

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A History of Words for Children explores the uniquely human ability to transfer thoughts from one brain to another using words. Written in a lively narrative style, the book presents a history of the world and human development through the prism of language, introducing readers to the civilisations, inventions and wordsmiths who have shaped the way we communicate.

Divided into themed chapters, the book explores what words are and how humans communicate using spoken language and sign; the development of written scripts and writing implements, including paper; the history of manuscripts and printed books, including worldwide bestsellers and famous libraries; the process of learning another language; dialects and accents and the way language can reflect our identity; the power of words to calm, inspire, rally crowds and rule nations; graffiti’s role in spreading messages; codes and invented languages; the patterns of poetry; the future of words, including emojis; and languages facing extinction.

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'[A] wry survey of language'
The New York Times

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (with jacket)

Size: 27.9 x 21.6 cm

Extent: 96 pp

Publication date: 22 September 2022

ISBN: 9780500652824

About the Author

Mary Richards is a publisher, author and illustrator. She adapted the bestselling A History of Pictures for Children from David Hockney’s original, and co-wrote (with David Schweitzer) A History of Music for Children. Rose Blake is an award-winning artist and illustrator who has illustrated numerous books for children, including A History of Pictures for Children and A History of Music for Children.