Tag: children’s fiction

dictionaries creative

The Vital Spark: dictionaries and creative writing

I love dictionaries and thesauruses: they’re dazzling and thrilling and useful. I own a ridiculously large number (seven currently on my desk, though most of them are downstairs). I use them, for work and pleasure, all the time. But now Vineeta Gupta, Head of Oxford Children’s Dictionaries, has asked me a question about them that’s […]

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500 words

500 words: stories from a wider world

The BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition, run by the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, asks children aged 5-13 to compose an original work of fiction in no more than 500 words. For the past four years, Oxford Dictionaries for Children has collected and analysed all of the words used by young writers in the competition. […]

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children's classics

Quiz: how well do you know classic children’s literature?

Since it’s International Children’s Book Day today (observed on 2 April as it is the birthday of renowned children’s author Hans Christian Andersen), we’re testing your knowledge of some of the children’s books published as Oxford World’s Classics.

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peterpan

Peter Pan collars and other literary eponyms

Any avid reader has their favourite characters, whether they be from classic fiction, much-loved children’s literature, or contemporary novels. Quite a few characters have given their names to words relating to their traits or appearance – Eeyoreish, for instance, appears in our dictionaries as an adjective meaning pessimistic or gloomy, based on Eeyore from A.A. […]

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Edward Lear popularized the limerick

Higher-cynths, lower-cynths, and Seeze Pyders: why Lear’s ‘nonsense’ language is more than just fun

If there were no other reason to remember Edward Lear with fondness (and there are, in fact, very many), his popularization of the limerick would be enough. Like so many children, I was always delighted to come across limericks. My favourite was about the young man of Nepal, who went to a fancy dress ball. […]

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Dr Seuss

A poetic tribute to Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss, the pen-name of Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904–1991), was an American writer of hugely successful books for children. And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street (1937) introduced Seuss’s iconic visual and verbal style. This was further extended in the ‘Beginner Book’ series, of which The Cat in the Hat (1957) was […]

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