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Calvin Gets the Last Word
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Calvin Gets the Last Word

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Calvin’s dictionary is proud to go wherever Calvin goes —the breakfast table, school, baseball practice, and home again — helping Calvin search for the perfect word to describe his super-annoying older brother. After looking all day, Calvin finally finds the word he’s looking for at bedtime. And when he does, the dictionary is as surprised as you will be.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Tilbury House Publishers
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  93 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super cute easy read about brotherly love and sibling rivalry. The story is essentially told from the point of view of the dictionary which is a cute little twist. The dictionary occumpanies Calvin everywhere is currently searching for the perfect word to describe his big brother. The book has a handful of terms that are featured in bold colors in hopes to catch a young readers eye and teach them a new word. I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE that it does this!

At its core its children book about the love of word
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Logophile Calvin carries his dictionary everywhere he goes — even to a baseball game! Calvin’s older brother keeps playing pranks on him, and Calvin wants to get even. I dare not say anything else because the ending packs quite a surprise. I love this book, and my students will, too!

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley, Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC, and Tillbury House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Calvin Gets the Last Word meets all the requirements of a fun, meaningful picture book. His dictionary as narrator plus the lovely detailed illustrations give a bird’s eye view of Calvin’s life. The importance of using correct words is especially essential for kids to learn since words can unite us and bring comfort. And using an incorrect one can lead to hurt and confusion even if that wasn’t the intention of the speaker. Love the surprise ending! Calvin’s search for perfect words all comes tog ...more
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love books that assume that kids want to learn new, longer, more descriptive words. This book tells the story of a younger brother trying to come up with a word to describe how he feels about his brother making him laugh just as his mouth is full of milk.

The story is essentially told from the point of view of the dictionary, by the way.

(I would have thought Calvin would have consulted a thesaurus instead of a dictionary, but it still all works)

So, while Calvin searches for just for the right w
Alice Kaltman
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I adore Calvin and his quest to find just the right word to describe his annoying older brother, who, as older siblings often do, trips Calvin up every darn time! There's great sympatico between words and images in this charming book, and extra bonus: best inside jacket picture book design I've seen in a long time. Like having a book within a book. Get this gem for the young reader or about-to-be reader in your family. ...more
Seema Rao
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book must have been queued up before the pandemic, but will certainly be helpful to families now. It's about emotions and reactions, and would be ideal for families learning to live through the uncertainty of today. The text and images are equally well done. Really solid book.

Thanks to Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Calvin Gets the Last Word is a fun book that teaches new words to young readers without being didactic with a sweet and tender twist ending. This book makes for a great gift and will be fun to read over and over again! If you’re an aspiring picture book writer, this book provides a great example of using mask voice to tell a story.
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Calvin needs to find a word to describe his brother, but he doesn’t want just any word; he wants the perfect word. This playful book is narrated by Calvin’s dictionary, and you won’t believe all the words you discover!

I’m using this book as a new mentor text for my middle school students for writing and vocabulary, as well as different perspectives in reading. It takes effort to find that “just right” description. Calvin Gets the Last Word is entertaining AND educational. You’ll enjoy this one!
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an electronic ARC from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC through NetGalley.
Calvin brings his dictionary everywhere with him. It's pretty beaten up from being on the spot when the action happens. So, the dictionary is telling its story for the readers. Sorenson slips in a new word and definition on almost every spread. Readers see the definitions in action through the illustrations and text. Great way to slip in new vocabulary. Love the ending after the pranks and jokes. The two brothers c
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This delightful unique book is narrated by a very tired dictionary. Why is he so exhausted? Calvin, his owner, is always searching for the proper word to describe his mischievious big brother.

Calvin takes his dictionary everywhere with him trying to find the perfect word. Which one would be apropos for a scallywag who tells a joke when your mouth is full of milk causing you to laugh so hard that the milk shoots all over the breakfast table? It's payback time. Calvin keeps probing the pages. Wil
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5

Calvin loves words. Really loves words. So much so, that Calvin, a young elementary school student, carries an encyclopedia around with him wherever he goes. Calvin wants the right word for things. He can find that right word in his dictionary ... for most things. But he can't quite figure out the right word for his rascally brother who makes him snort milk out his nose and maybe picks on him at times. But at home at nigh
Kailey (Luminous Libro)
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Calvin's older brother tells a funny joke right when Calvin takes a drink of milk, making Calvin squirt milk out of his nose at the family breakfast table. Calvin searches the dictionary for the perfect words to describe his annoying brother and plots a way to get his revenge.

I'm confused about the messages in this book. One minute Calvin is standing up to bullies who took a child's pencil case, not allowing them to tease a younger child. The next minute Calvin is pranking his older brother by d
Stephanie Bange
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun book of sibling rivalry and "getting even", with one a practical joker and the other a wordsmith.

Calvin pulls tricks on his brother just when he least expects them, causing embarrassment and anger. Calvin scours his dictionary to find just the right word to describe his brother's behavior. He explores ten "million dollar" words until he finally strikes gold with the eleventh word. (No spoilers here.)

Sorenson strikes just the right balance between the two brothers in this book. Having the d
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yabc-reviews
See my full review here:

CALVIN GETS THE LAST WORD is a cute picture book told from the perspective of Calvin's beloved dictionary. He is trying to come up with the perfect word for his big brother, who waits until he has a full mouth of milk to tell a funny joke. Throughout the day, his dictionary proposes the perfect words for different scenarios, but none of them are perfect for his brother. The book teaches new words while also celebrating family.

Told from the point of view of Calvin's overworked dictionary, this picture book will appeal to word-lovers everywhere. Calvin is always searching for just the right word, which makes the dictionary come in handy. As he ponders what word might best sum up his mischievous older brother, the dictionary takes on some battle scars--a torn page, a food stain, even pencil markings. As he peruses the dictionary, various words catch his attention, but none of them seems to fit. The poor old dictionary i ...more
Stephanie Tournas
Well, this is a first for me – a book that is narrated by a dictionary! Calvin loves words so much that he carries his dictionary everywhere, which, it turns out, is very tiring for the dictionary. Especially since Calvin is trying constantly to come up with the right word to describe his rascally big brother. Is it revenge, when his brother makes him laugh so hard Calvin spews milk? Is it mayhem, a word Calvin thinks of when he’s on the noisy, chaotic school bus? Words occur to Calvin throughou ...more
Jamie Jack
Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: p-2020, childrens
Building Vocabulary, From a Dictionary’s Viewpoint

Calvin loves words, so much so that he carries a small dictionary around with him everywhere, reading it constantly. The book is told from the dictionary's perspective, which I thought was fun. Throughout the day, certain events seem to land Calvin on a page with a word that relates to it, though I thought the author could have given a little better context for the words, as sometimes it felt like she was reaching a bit. Throughout this day, Calv
Sandra Norman
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Follow the adventures of Calvin and his trusty dictionary. The first word that comes to mind is not always the best word for the occasion, and the dictionary can help inspire readers and writers to expand their vocabulary. 'Calvin Gets the Last Word' would be a great asset to any classroom where students are encouraged to add to their vocabulary repertoire. Told from the perspective of a dictionary, readers are encouraged to hunt for just the right word to describe their situation. There are som ...more
Sandy Brehl
Calvin's interest in and exploration of finding the "just-right'word for dealing with his prankster brother really appealed to the word-nerd in me. The endpapers and text throughout clearly distinguish his vocabulary/definition from the narrative text. A favorite song I used while teaching is titled "USE A WORD" by Red Grammar.
Calvin's emotional reaction to being pranked is strong, but his effort to find the "just right" choice for reacting (and possibly teaching his brother a lesson) is a cons
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Calvin and his brother are pretty typical siblings - they squabble but they still love each other. Calvin has a dictionary that he uses to try to find the perfect word to describe his brother.The dictionary is the one telling the story, which is a cute twist. As Calvin tries to find the right word, a variety of words gets used until finally, at bedtime, he finds the perfect one. And it is not the one that you would think, based on all the previous possibilities.

I love the vocabulary extensions o
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“I’m Calvin’s dictionary, and I’m tired.” Why is Calvin’s dictionary telling this story? Why is it tired? Who is Calvin? This humorous vocabulary-building story introduces the reader to big words, such as mayhem, subterfuge and retaliation. Even though young readers might not remember these words, they will remember and possibly relate to the irritations of siblings.

Full-color illustrations mirror the text as well as give a deeper understanding of the big words used. Green and gray hues are domi
Meradeth Houston
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad I got to read this! It's positively adorable and wonderfully unique. I love that it's told from the dictionary's perspective, which is a great twist. Plus, there are some fun words to learn, woven in perfectly to the story. Calvin's relationship with his brother is authentic and made me giggle. Little boys with milk squirting out their noses? Totally funny and accompanied by illustrations that made me smile, and I know kids will crack up! Speaking of illustrations, Mike Deas does a ...more
Monica Exley
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing


I have read many books but none that have been from the perspective of a book before. Such a delightful book. I enjoyed reading this creative and lovely book so much. Your children will learn some fun new words and their definitions as it applies to those words. Great perspective and amazing story.
#mikedeas #monicasbookreviews #creativebookstagram #creativebooks #powerhousebooks #childrensbookstore #kidsbooks #smartkids #readingnook #readingfun
#calvingetsthelastword #margosorens
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Calvin Gets the Last Word has a great concept, I love that it is told from the perspective of the dictionary. I appreciate the introduction of vocabulary words. However, I believe it could be developed a little more. More introduction to the family and brother at the beginning, more connectivity between each scene, and more context clues for the new vocab words, and this book would be a hit. Thanks to the publisher, Tilbury House, and NetGalley for the ARC to review. All opinions are my own.
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love how this book is unique and told from the dictionary's perspective. The pages are all tattered and have things spilled on them, but that's because Calvin uses his dictionary all the time for different words and situations. I love how this book introduces new words to kids that they probably haven't used before, and gets kids thinking about what other words there may be out there yet to discover in a dictionary.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it liked it
3,5/5. A children book about the love of words, building vocabulary and the dictionary. I totally respect what it try to accomplish, and it does it fairly well, but I think that the story may be put aside a bit too much, I would have like the story to be a bit more solid and entertaining for children, even if that mean, cut a bit of the «educative» part. I did like that the narrator was a dictionary that was both funny and original.
It's Purely Fiction
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Kiddos will like the illustrations. Parents will want to know how to explain definitions of the highlighted words before reading this book. I like that it uses some harder words to teach the littles. It was a cute book that kids will like because anyone with a sibling will appreciate the ending. I want to purchase this book for my library’s collection.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.
Shauna Morrison
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I requested and received this book from Margo Sorenson and Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

I really like that this book introduces young children to larger more complicated words in a fun way. Calvin is trying to find the perfect word for his brother, so we hear about the search from the dictionary. This story was really cute and fun to read. I love the ending.
Medeia Sharif
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Calvin’s brother is constantly pranking him, telling jokes while Calvin is eating or drinking so he spurts things out of his mouth or nose. With his trusty dictionary always with him, Calvin tries to find the best word to describe his brother. The story is told in the dictionary’s point of view, by the way. This is a great book for children to explore words, feelings, and sibling relationships. I read this via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
April Gray
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A cute story of a boy and his dictionary. Calvin carries his dictionary (the narrator of the story) with him always, trying to find the right word to describe his brother. Each illustration spread takes us through a possible word, with lots if detail and action to keep the reader busy, but none of the words feels quite right. Finally one night, Calvin sneaks into his brother's room, to share the perfect word with him. Really fun and sweet!

#CalvinGetstheLastWord #NetGalley
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Fun ahead for young readers with Margo's two newest picture books, LITTLE CALABASH (Island Heritage, Fall 2020) and CALVIN GETS THE LAST WORD (Tilbury House, October 2020), which was featured in the New York Times Children's Books review. Margo's 30th book, YA/Adult novel SECRETS IN TRANSLATION set in Italy was released in 2018 by Fitzroy Books. Her 27th book, picture book SPAGHETTI SMILES was rel ...more

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