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The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus
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The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  4,460 ratings  ·  908 reviews
For shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions -- and it wasn’t long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn’t write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most importa ...more
Hardcover, 42 pages
Published September 15th 2014 by Eerdman's
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,460 ratings  ·  908 reviews


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Calista
When it is so easy to go to the internet and find a whole list of words for synonyms or antonyms it is difficult to understand the importance of this work at times. It seems so easy now.

This is the biography and story of Peter Roget. He was an amazing person, of course. He was a list maker. He began making lists in a notebook when he was 8 years old. I love this art for this. Adore it. The art is collage and putting things together with lists all over the place. It's bringing things
...more
Manybooks
Well, narratively and with this I of course mean from an entirely textual point of view, Jennifer Fisher Bryant's The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus truly is an absolutely perfect junior level biographical introduction to both the life and times of Peter Mark Roget and his famous (still now in use and also having been globally imitated for many languages other than English) thesaurus. Both clear in general set-up and written in a style that is neither too complicated nor too simplistic, the author p ...more
Donalyn
Stunning, remarkable, extraordinary, staggering, incredible, outstanding, amazing, astonishing, marvelous, phenomenal, splendid.

This book captures the work of geniuses: Jen Bryant, Melissa Sweet, and Peter Roget. From cover to cover, Melissa Sweet's illustrations are a feast for the eyes. I felt like I was rummaging in a curiosity cabinet--there's so much to see. Jen Bryant creates an accessible and engaging figure out of Peter Roget, who was a brilliant scientist and word collector.
...more
Stephanie Anze
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
"Words, Peter learned, were powerful things."

Based on the life of Peter Mark Roget, this beautifully illustrated book brings to life the making of the iconic Roget's Thesaurus. A shy boy born in London, Peter made lists as a coping mechanism to deal with the personal hardships in his life. In words, Peter found confort and as he grew his lexicon grew with him. I came upon this book by chance and simply could not pass it up. The prose and illustrastions pay homage to a man that we all
...more
Edward Sullivan
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superb
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Excellent
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Wonderful
Monica Edinger
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From my blog.

I love words and I love art that plays with words. ABC books, abecedarian novels, lipograms, everything and anything that plays with the art of words is art right up my alley. And so having adored Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet's glorious Caldecott Honor A River of Words, I was agog with anticipation waiting for their latest,  The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus .  And now that I've seen it, let
...more
Rachel
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This biographical picture book has it all. It has gorgeously detailed illustrations, an inspiring story, a historical timeline and even a reference section. Wonderfully done; a beautiful celebration of words and the man who valued them enough to make them available for everyone.
paula
OH MY GOD. If there were any book DESIGNED to delight the wordhounds, the crossword puzzlers, the librarians, Joseph Cornell fans and Adrian Belew AT THE SAME TIME, THIS IS IT.
Cheryl
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I grabbed this when it was on the new display at my library, and loved it then... and loved this reread for the Caldecott club, too. I appreciate how the illustrations are so *full* ... they give me the impression of the artist trying to find just the 'right image,' in a way. Sort of like visual lists, if you will. Imo.

So fascinating to learn that Roget wasn't just a word geek, but like other people of his time he was trying to use principles from the studies of natural history to ma
...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I wonder if Roget was OCD? He was really obsessed with putting things in order using lists, and this included synonyms, which he later turned into his famous thesaurus. I can relate to this guy, as I'm a listy person myself. After reading this Sibert Medal-winning book, I was left wanting to know a lot more about his life.

Though this book also is a Caldecott honor book, I can't say that these are my favorite illustrations by Melissa Sweeet, though they fit the text. At times, they almost overwh
...more
Joan
I read it very quickly when it came through Catalog at the library for processing. It seems like a really delightful book, that will arouse a kid's interest in words, or make a kid into a confirmed word lover. Sweet's illustrations are pretty wonderful as usual. She uses words from the thesaurus to illustrate the pages in addition to more traditional pictures. I should read this again, and savor the book more. But in the meantime, I'm really enthusiastic. It is amazing how much information Bryan ...more
Rebecca Honeycutt
WOOOOOOOOOOW. Let's just slap a Caldecott on this and call it day, shall we?

Melissa Sweet's busy, textured, and riotously colorful mixed-media illustration style has always been distinct and accomplished, but she's really doing some next-level work here. Her illustrations transform this perfectly respectable biography of Roget into an attention-grabbing, appropriately detailed, and absolutely immersive experience.

In terms of Jen Bryant's text, this book will work for older picture b
...more
Joyce Yattoni
The illustrations and end papers in this picture book are stunning. This is an informational picture book of how Peter Roget came to the idea of creating a thesaurus, a lifelong endeavor and one that started at a very early age. I learned that thesaurus means 'treasure house' in Greek. This informational picture book would be great for introducing students to the joy of being curious about words, motivating students to be a collector of words, and selecting just the right word to communicate ide ...more
Luann
Word lists, timelines, collages, information galore, and fact-filled illustrations. This book is for anyone who loves words or making lists, or learning about inspiring people. I had no idea what an interesting person Roget was. I want to know more about him after reading this book.

I loved both the author and illustrator notes at the end. After reading them, I went back and read the book again. This is one that shouldn't be read too quickly.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet do it again. What a dynamic duo they are when it comes to creating picture book biographies. I love this book and all the attention to detail found in the illustrations. Now I want to see an original copy of Roget's Thesaurus.
Linda
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
We've all used a Roget's Thesaurus, and this book tells the story behind Mr. Roget. Beautifully illustrated, it still conveys the power of words. Take a look, you won't be disappointed. Or unhappy. Or disenchanted.
James Pugh
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is so much going on in this book, it is beautifully crafted and a simple, yet informative, biography of Roget and his thesaurus. Great kids' book.
Agnė
I am glad I learned about Peter Mark Roget. In case you don't know, he is a man who created our beloved Thesaurus, a book of synonyms and antonyms that has stayed in print continuously since its first publication in 1852. Such an accomplished personality, and I knew absolutely NOTHING about him!

Melissa Sweet's mixed-media illustrations in The Right Word are creative and extremely effective in conveying Roget's word-collecting and list-making mind:

I am glad I learned about Peter Mark Roget. In case you don't know, he is a man who created our beloved Thesaurus, a book of synonyms and antonyms that has stayed in print continuously since its first publication in 1852. Such an accomplished personality, and I knew absolutely NOTHING about him!

Melissa Sweet's mixed-media illustrations in The Right Word are creative and extremely effective in conveying Roget's word-collecting and list-making mind:





However, although I LOVED Sweet's artwork in Little Red Writing, the illustrations in The Right Word are a little bit too busy and overwhelming for my liking.
...more
Sharyl
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have a sudden urge to make some lists.
Melora
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I requested this from the library after being delighted by “Some Writer,” another Melissa Sweet children's biography, but this is a much shorter, less detailed book. Once past the surprise, I found “The Right Word” an enchanting, gorgeous little book, and I was absolutely gobsmacked by what a brilliant fellow Peter Mark Roget was! I had no idea. Not just a word compiler (as if that accomplishment merits a “just”!) but also a doctor, and inventor, and a scientist, Roget was a member of the Royal Society, the Ro ...more
Calzean
Beautifully drawn pages make this interesting little book for children on the life of Peter Roget and his Thesaurus. It also covers his career as a doctor, inventor, scientist and lover of lists. The simplicity of the story is an interesting comparison with the complexity of his work.
Jim Erekson
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bryant and Sweet have something going on here! This is the third biography in their collaboration, and I look forward to the next one. I started out worried that the style was too much the same as A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, but it's really a broad style and palette that seems to be consistent across this series.

For this book, Melissa SweetSweet made a powerful effort to illustrate concepts again and this puts her squarely in the complementary rather than corresponding relationship to
...more
Beverly
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, extraordinary, magnificent, terrific, wonderful, and many other synonyms of which I can not think right now! The text highlights events in Roget's interesting and multi-faceted life, from his childhood through the publication of his thesaurus. Melissa's mixed-media collages are eye-opening, eye-catching, stupendous, marvelous, ingenious, creative, etc., etc. She used different sorts of papers, leather book binding materials, watercolors, ink, and pencil. Many of her illustrations invo ...more
Ashley
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won't repeat everything all the other reviewers have said. What I will add is that this book does a beautiful job of quietly assuring children that it's perfectly okay if they're a little different or even obsessive. The authors go out of their way to celebrate Roget for his attentiveness, contributions to society, and quirky traits that less sensitive authors might write off as neuroses. Children who are scared that they are weird or might never be loved can look to Roget and take comfort. It ...more
Alexandra
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
found this on thrift books and ordered it not realizing it was a kids book, but it doesn't even matter because it was beautifully put together and so interesting.

it definitely sparked my interest to read more on peter mark roget (pronounced roh-zhay). i feel like such an asshat for ever pronouncing it like "rodgett." 😭🙈🙈🙈
and honestly, looking at the name now, how the HELL could i have ever thought it was "rodgett?" but tbh i haven't looked at a thesaurus since i was a kid and all my teachers in elem
...more
Barbara
Although I often found the version of Roget's Thesaurus that I used in middle grades to be cumbersome, once I figured out how to navigate it, I found it intriguing. Finding the right word to express precisely how we feel or what we want to say is something with which every writer has struggled. Starting and ending with the intricately designed endpapers, this picture book sheds light on that most intriguing of individuals, Peter Mark Roget, who created and published a thesaurus in 1852 that has ...more
Julia
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-books
Honestly, I despised this book. But I'm in the minority on this one.

The story of Roget and the invention of the thesaurus is made into a children's book here. It's still boring, except for those of us who love words and the thesaurus. Yes, it's well-told, and shows how he grew into creating it. The illustrations are full of lists, perhaps demonstrating the list-making tendencies in an otherwise chaotic brain.

But I hate the illustrations. They are chaotic, migraine-inducin
...more
Rebecca
So good! A simple, easy-to-access biography of Peter Roget, with a perfect kaleidoscope of curio-cabinet, collage illustrations by Melissa Sweet. She did a remarkable job of making an abstract idea -- an introverted child who loved making lists and categories -- into a vibrant, visually arresting story.

Includes a list of principal events (a timeline of Roget's life interspersed with world events), an author's note, an illustrator's note (how refreshing!), selected bibliography, for further read
...more
Mary Ann
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
filled with joy, wonder, and inspiration -- this beautiful book about words is nearly leaving me at a loss of words. I just can't wait to share it with students and see what they think of it. I love the way that Bryant and Sweet work together to introduce the idea, not only of synonyms but also of classification to young people. Sweet's artwork keeps the story light and friendly, but allows readers to return, digging deeper each time.
Kathryn
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Although I am not sure this book is as much for kids as it is for adults it was fascinating to read the hows and whys Peter Mark Roget pronounced "ROH ZHAY" came to be the author of Roget's Thesaurus. The Thesaurus was published for the first time in 1852. Thesaurus is Greek for treasure house. I use my Thesaurus all the time.
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Jen Bryant (Jennifer Fisher Bryant) writes picture books, novels and poems for readers of all ages. Her biographical picture book: A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet,received a Caldecott Honor award and her historical novel in verse RINGSIDE 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial is an Oprah Recommended Book for ages 12 & up. Other titles include Pi ...more