Review of The Word Snoop (USA)
The Word Snoop is a breezy and informative resource for lovers of the English language. Author Ursula Dubosarsky uses an informal tone and short chapters to invite readers on a playful journey of discovery. This attractively designed book will have great appeal for teachers and students with an interest in history and mysteries.
Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of language, from origins and spelling to puns, anagrams and word games. The Word Snoop is a friendly and slightly sneaky character, determined to show that language can be fun: “Words jump and run and cartwheel around like a gang of spider monkeys.” The Snoop focuses on the peculiarities of language and she isn’t afraid to break the rules.
Students struggling to understand the oddities of spelling and grammar will be delighted with the way the Word Snoop reveals the inglorious and rather arbitrary origins of spelling. Keeping a modern audience of tech-savvy texters in mind, Dubosarsky also address the current iterations of language play, then puts them in historical context. Codes to decipher at the end of every chapter provide an entertaining application of the knowledge just learned and, when combined, reveal a secret message from the Word Snoop to her readers.
Published in Junior Library Guild on August 1, 2009.