The Lost Words
- “A gorgeous book!” @MargaretAtwood
- “Art, verse, and nature are combined with entertaining elegance in The Lost Words… This large, quality hardcover allows words and watercolour to shine and results in a work that can be left open at any page to stunning effect.” Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW
- “Stylish and melancholy, The Lost Words is a book to savour.” Wall Street Journal
- “This union of natural history, poetry, art, and whimsy is, indeed, a truly enchanting all-ages book of life to contemplate, read aloud, and share.” Booklist
- “Gorgeous to look at and to read. Give it to a child to bring back the magic of language—and its scope.” Jeanette Winterson
In 2007, when a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary—widely used in schools around the world—was published, a sharp-eyed reader soon noticed that around forty common words concerning nature had been dropped. Apparently they were no longer being used enough by children to merit their place in the dictionary. The list of these “lost words” included acorn, adder, bluebell, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter, and willow. Among the words taking their place were attachment, blog, broadband, bullet-point, cut-and-paste, and voice-mail. The news of these substitutions—the outdoor and natural being displaced by the indoor and virtual—became seen by many as a powerful sign of the growing gulf between childhood and the natural world.
Ten years later, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris set out to make a “spell book” that will conjure back twenty of these lost words, and the beings they name, from acorn to wren. By the magic of word and paint, they sought to summon these words again into the voices, stories, and dreams of children and adults alike, and to celebrate the wonder and importance of everyday nature. The Lost Words is that book—a work that has already cast its extraordinary spell on hundreds of thousands of people and begun a grass-roots movement to re-wild childhood across Britain, Europe, and North America.