Author: Jen Bryant
Illustrator: Melissa Sweet
Genre: Historical Nonfiction
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Grand Rapids, MI & Cambridge, U.K.
Awards: Caldecott Honor Medal 2015, Robert F. Sibert Award 2016
Themes: Words, Lists, Consistency, Time
Summary: Have you ever had a word on the tip of your tongue and you can’t remember it? Or you are writing something and you can’t find the right word to express what you are trying to say? Well, this story is about a man who makes that a lot easier for you! Dr. Roget developed the first Thesaurus after years of making many lists of words that are similar. His journey was not simple, but over time and being persistent it all came together.
Response: What factual information did you learn? Did anything surprise you? How do you know if this information is accurate?
Everything in this story was new information to me. I have never thought about nor who created the Thesaurus. I am sure today that it has been added onto by other writers; however, I did not know the story and life of the original thesaurus. I think that it is interesting how these lists accumulated since Roget was a child. I wonder where he kept these lists as to not lose them? I also loved how the images had him in various locations such as a garden, doctor’s office, other countries, his home, etc. because it shows the variety of words and extent that he covered.
Without doing further research this book is very accurate. There is a timeline at the beginning of the story giving detail events in history through the span of Roget’s life. In addition to that, there is through author notes, illustrator notes, a selected bibliography references, other sources, and other reads along the same topic. This story is very factual and reliable!