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Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z

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4.66  ·  Rating details ·  273 ratings  ·  100 reviews
How can we make the world a better place? This resource for middle-grade readers is organized as a dictionary; each entry presents a word related to creating a better world, such as ally, empathy, or respect. For each word, there is a poem, a quote, a personal anecdote from the authors, and a "try it" prompt for an activity. ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Carolrhoda Books (R)
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Average rating 4.66  · 
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Lisa Vegan
Great gift book for ages 8-18! It might also be fine for college students/young adults and also older adults. When I borrowed this book from the library in late February or early March (it’s the last checked out library book I’m getting to these many months later) I was expecting a picture book for preschoolers or early elementary school students. This book is much more advanced than that. I know that this is a children’s book but my opinion is that to get the full value of it, it’s best for old ...more
Paul  Hankins
First of all, a HUGE thank you to the folks who let me see a very early copy of this February 2020 release. To be among the first few classroom teachers here at Goodreads to see the new book by Irene Latham and Charles Waters (this is the creative duo who gave us CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? POEMS OF RACE, MISTAKES, AND FRIENDSHIP) is a privilege in every way that taking an early look at a book many will be buzzing about in a few months can be. I am grateful.

When early looks at the new collection fro
...more
Chris
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! 50 alphabetical spread-long entries for words such as Dialogue, Hate, Peace, and Vulnerable, each composed of 5 parts: a short poem, a definition of the poem's form, a related quote from a famous person or book, a paragraph in which one of the two authors discusses what the word means to them, and a "Try It!" prompt to put the idea into action; plus wonderful illustrations and art design. So much variety within the format, of tone, style, and topic. So many layers of ways ...more
Fazila
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full Review is coming soon !!

FULL REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Thank you Netgalley and Lerner Publishing Group & Carolrhoda Books for providing the ARC copy of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Thank you Netgalley and Lerner Publishing Group for providing me with the ARC of this book. This book was an amazing experience for me. I rarely read poetry and having seen this book as poetry for kids, I was intrigued and wanted to know more about it. T
...more
Alicia Bayer
This is a colorful, creative book with a great premise: It's an A-to-Z dictionary of words that are all about equality and empathy and other great things for kids to learn. Each entry is made into some sort of poem about the word (with some letters getting more than one word and poem) and then there are calls to action about how to embody those attributes. Written by a man and woman from very different backgrounds, it offers diversity of experience. The poems are in all different forms and it al ...more
Mary Lee
This book has everything -- poems, short essays responding to the poems/topics, quotes, a book list, and GORGEOUS illustrations. Perfect for browsing, using as a mentor text, and lifting your spirits.
Holly Mueller
This is a GORGEOUS book written by Irene Latham and Charles Waters (the Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship team) and beautifully illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. There is lots packed in here - definitions of various form of poetry, powerful quotes, author reflections, and inspirational poems. This is a must have for classroom and school libraries! Read for Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club 2020.
Anna Beth
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile, cultural, poetry
EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS.
For the poetry.
For the illustrations.
For the person commentary from the authors.
For what it would mean if people took this message to heart, especially with their children.

I think this would be a fun book to work through with kids, going letter by letter. There is a "Try It!" with every word and would be a good exercise to do with a young reader (and the adult reader too).
...more
Cassandra
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved the poems. I loved the quotes. I loved the explanations of the form and poets’ story behind the poems. I even loved the try it that accompanied each poem. I will definitely use this in the classroom and share with young people in my life. Heck I’m going to share them with any people in my life ❤️
Brenda Kahn
I am a huge fan of the two poets' earlier collaboration and had no doubt this one would be spectacular! This is a first-purchase for all libraries. Beautifully illustrated, inspiring quotes, challenges and thought-provoking poems all add up to a terrific resource in the LA classroom for all ages. ...more
Athina (booknotes_athina)
I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The idea behind this book is very good. It's goal is to inspire young readers to create a better world.
I liked the alphabet format of the book and also the bold illustrations that accompanied the poems.
Unfortunately the book wasn't something I particularly liked, probably because I am not into poetry as much as I wanted. Also I think that this book is more appropriate for older children due to its length.
...more
Hollie Nelson
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Teacher friends, take note! This is a great book for teaching poetry and SEL. Also, I could just die for the illustrations. 💙 Beautiful. The whole book is beautiful.
Lisa Mcbroom
I love quotes. These two authors write original poetry and give quotes of inspiration.
Cindy Gerwin
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book would be a great way to start the school year - A-Z Counting Up to an Inclusive Community! Also, identifies a variety of different poems to help teach kids about poetry. The anecdotes remind me of the power of story - "Try It" invites new stories. ...more
Dennis
Six Stars! I want to buy this book for everyone, starting with myself! The concept is not new, but the execution is outstanding. The poetry, illustrations, quotes, author insights and action suggestions are all spot on. Just a wonder and a delight for humans age 2-92.
Maureen Tully
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, middle-grade
What a gem of a book! I enjoyed the poems, quotes, and anecdotes, but I especially appreciated the Try It part for each word. Its title - Dictionary For A Better World - couldn't be more appropriate. This is a book that has great potential to make a difference. ...more
Meghan
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Lerner Publishing Group - Carolrhoda Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was blown away by the execution of not only the quotes, poems and literary elements used in this book but the artwork was absolutely mind blowing. This book not only reflects the importance of preserving the environment and saving the world one day at a time but, it also introduced me to new forms of poetry such
...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and CharlesWaters, 109 pages. POETRY. Carolrhoda Books, 2020. $20.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: G

BUYING ADVISORY: MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Latham and Waters offer 50 poems, each with a quote and an anecdote, based on principles and characteristics that will improve our world when applied. Individuals have to change before the world as a whole can become better.

My favorite parts of this book are the parts tha
...more
bet mercer
I'm impressed with this book -- not only does it address an important topic with such a calm openness that invites thought and discussion and action, it also teaches about poetry as a whole and in multiple forms, as well as include quotes from other writers and thinkers, mini personal reflections, and simple suggestions of ways to put the ideas into action. I don't know how they managed to pack all that in and still offer up an easy to engage with book. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for ...more
Sandy Brehl
DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z is the second writing collaboration between poets Irene Latham and Charles Waters. Illustrations are by Mehrdokht Amini.
These two authors first opened a poetic dialogue in CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? Poems of Race and Friendship (2018). There, they used alternating poems in the voices of a young white girl and a young black boy, an exploration beginning with curiosity and cluelessness, but growing into an accepting and affection
...more
Zahiryn Vélez Hernández
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

“Dictionary for a Better World” is an A-to-Z dictionary of words pertaining to equality, kindness and creativity. The book is very charming, each page illustrated with bold colors and pictures. This, and the general layout of the book, was one of my favorite things. Each entry consists of a poem inspired by the word, an explanation of its form, an inspirational quote, and advice from the writers, Irene Latham and
...more
Linda
Way back in September, I had the pleasure of revealing the cover of Dictionary for A Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. In that post, a few questions are answered by these creators who've made what is now a favorite alphabet book. Of course, I imagine alphabet books as page by page reveals a letter, a word and an illustration. And they are wonderful.
However, this is so much more. And in these times, welcomed
...more
Vidya Tiru
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Many of you know I enjoy poetry – reading it and trying my hand at writing it too every once in a while. And I love books that teach without preaching. This book therefore was one I had to check out for myself and I am glad I did. This is a must-add for my library and I plan to get the print edition soon for myself (the review is based on the NetGalley eARC I received)

This is not per-se a picture book but the brilliant artwork that accompanies the poems across its 120+ pages almost make it so, a
...more
Laurie Hnatiuk
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I was waiting for this book from authors Irene Latham and Charles Waters the moment I heard about it and WOW WOW WOW!. Many may remember this duo from their earlier work Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship this is a book that demands to be in classrooms, libraries and readers young and old.

Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z is simply that, a collection of poems using a word or words from each letter of the alphabet to create a bet
...more
Tasha
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The authors that created Can I Touch Your Hair, a collection of poems about race, return with a dictionary that selects powerful words to think about as we work on making our world better. The dictionary includes words like empathy, acceptance, compassion, humility, respect and tenacity. Nicely, no effort is made to include the entire alphabet, rather words were selected for their ability to make an impact. Along with each word, there is a poem written by one of the authors and then also a piece ...more
Andrea
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully illustrated book has at least one positive word for every single letter of the alphabet. And then each one of those words has an accompanying poem. Included with each one is a definition of poetry terms, an inspirational quote from a famous person, words of wisdom from Irene and Charles, who put this book together, and activities that you can do that are related to the category word for that poem.

These illustrations are just stunning, and each one perfectly fits the word it is d
...more
Lulu's Book Journey
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What does a Better World look like for you? A world where everyone is ACCEPTED and BELONGS! A world that is COMPASSIONATE and DIVERSE! A world that is CREATIVE and has ZEST!

Each page of this book features one of these bold and powerful words that is brought to life by an inspiring poem! Also included with each word are:

A beautiful illustration

Definitions of the different types of poetic forms such as: concrete, free verse, haiku, limerick, nonsense, etc...

An inspiring quote from artists, author
...more
Carro Herdegen
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiss-the-book
Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: G
Latham and Waters offer 50 poems, each with a quote and an anecdote, based on principles and characteristics that will improve our world when applied. Individuals have to change before the world as a whole can become better.
My favorite parts of this book are the parts that are not advertised as part of the poem collection: each poem comes with a new literary device or poem style to learn and an invitation for the reader to start applyi
...more
Roger
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Authentic, illustrative and educational

I really liked the content of the book, first I want to highlight that it is not a dictionary in the usual sense, however the proposal to approach each concept is very creative and poetic. The content is based on words and concepts that the authors have selected as values so that together we build a Better World.
In this unique book, children can learn valuable concepts as well as poetic forms and their characteristics in parallel. The authors share personal
...more
Micheline
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, inclusion
This book!!!! Thank you Wendy for recommending it. It is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read. It touched my heart in so many ways. And every time I thought of my students. This is DEFINITELY a book I will require for my classroom and for the school library. I can see a million ways to use this book. I would recommend it for 3rd grade and up to HS. Or even as an adult, honestly.
It is a great book for introducing poetry as well as for understanding life, for teaching SEL, for self-re
...more
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Irene Latham is a poet and novelist who was born the middle child and first daughter of five kids.

Irene has lived all sorts of places and traveled worldwide. Since 1984 she has called Birmingham, Alabama, home.

She thinks growing up with three brothers was great preparation for raising her three sons. She also thinks getting a sister was one of the best things that has ever happened to her.

Irene i
...more

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