The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris

The Lost Words

Written by Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris

9+ readers   Books of the Year   11+ readers   

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One of Our Books of the Year 2017

A book to make you think and feel, this is an important, beautiful, spellbinding treasure. Words from nature are disappearing, being removed, left to one side to be forgotten. Some words are in real danger of being lost forever, this book reveals those words, sings them, shows them, reminds us how to love them. Spell-weavers Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris have created a bewitching ode to nature, reminding us of the danger of absence, highlighting beauty, whispering to our soul. It feels as though the words, the poems, and vividly beautiful pictures are as one, the essence of the word, of the being, escapes the page to wrap itself around you. ‘The Lost Words’ is suitable for all ages, and should find a special place in all homes, all libraries, all schools, all hearts. Do read the spell-poems out loud, listen, look, feel, touch, allow your awareness to open and receive these gifts. I found myself entranced, I fell completely under the spell of ‘The Lost Words’, I simply can’t recommend it highly enough. ~ Liz Robinson


The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris

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.


Sumptuously illustrated... the poems or nature summoning spells are indebted to Gerard Manley Hopkins with rich alliteration, word-play and compound adjectives [and] the illustrations make plants and creatures luminous against backgrounds of gold leaf * The Sunday Times * One of the most striking and poignant picture books of the season...this giant tome contains not only beautiful illustrations but a haunting series of poems that read like a summoning back of the wild...a book in which every page seems like an act of love * Herald * Sumptuous...a book combining meticulous wordcraft with exquisite illustrations deftly restores language describing the natural world to the children's lexicon... The Lost Words is a beautiful book and an important one * The Observer * A breathtaking book... Jackie Morris has created something that you could spend all day looking at... This is the kind of complexity that can enthral a child as much as an adult... Refreshingly accessible, slightly magical * New Statesman * My top book of the year... It is one of those children's books for ages up to 99 years. The lost words are those my generation and earlier ones used every day and which are fast disappearing, and Macfarlane's aim is to resurrect the everyday glories of our language. May he succeed * Susan Hill * Gilded and glorious, Jackie Morris's paintings illustrate Robert Macfarlane's acrostic poems in The Lost Words, one of the years loveliest books for all ages over 10 * The Sunday Times * Rapturously received celebration of nature * The New Statesman * Macfarlane is a changemaker... he has made nature-writing populis6t and big-selling. Morris's paintings are beautiful - at once familiar and other. A contender for book of the year * The Big Issue * Publisher's description. An illustrated spell-book in watercolour and gold leaf, from the rich creative minds of award-winning author Robert Macfarlane and acclaimed artist Jackie Morris. As nature vanishes from children's language and their imagination, The Lost Words stands against the loss of magic, celebrating the joy of wild childhood and wild places. * Penguin *

About the Author

Robert Macfarlane is the author of a number of bestselling and prize-winning books including The Wild Places, The Old Ways, Holloway and Landmarks. His work has been translated into many languages and widely adapted for film, television and radio, and his essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta and the Guardian. Most recently, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the EM Forster Award for Literature 2017. Robert Macfarlane is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and is presently completing Underland, about underworlds real and imagined.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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Book Info


128 pages
Interest Age: From 5 years


Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris
More books by Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris


Hamish Hamilton Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

2nd October 2017




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