Jackie Morris
The Lost Words

Hamish Hamilton (7+)

978-0241253588 (hardback)

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. These are the words of the natural world - Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children's minds. The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems and hand-painted illustration this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

The size and shape of this stunning book seem entirely appropriate and fitting to the importance of its purpose yet the scale also draws attention to the minutiae of the precious objects being lost. The use of gold leaf throughout cleverly suggests a religious icon. The repetitive structure of the double page spread with the hidden word; spell; full-page picture of animal / plant in close-up and the double page spread of it in its natural habit encourages deep contemplation and delivers perfect synergy between words and pictures. Wonderfully realistic detail of individual little worlds gives great pleasure with an overall lasting impact of magical beauty.


Jackie Morris grew up in the Vale of Evesham and studied at Hereford College of Arts and at Bath Academy. She has illustrated for the New Statesman, Independent and Guardian, has collaborated with Ted Hughes, and has written & illustrated over forty books children's including beloved classics such as Song of the Golden Hare, Tell Me A Dragon, East of the Sun, West of the Moon and The Wild Swans. Jackie Morris lives in a cottage on the cliffs of Pembrokeshire.

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