Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster

Author and illustrator Debra Frasier
If you’re in search of books on a specific topic, ask a librarian!  The lovely children’s librarians in my home town had the perfect suggestion for my BigWords Books list.  Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster is funny and empowering.  In this book, the ten-year-old who narrates the story is the wordsmith.  She uses great vocabulary to tell the story of a mistake and her glorious recovery.  She defines words within the text, and shares her extra credit vocabulary sentences along the edges of the illustrations.  To further empower and connect with kids, author/illustrator Debra Frasier ingeniously uses simple lined paper and markers to create fifth-grade-style drawings.  Miss Alaineus might be a little long for toddler listeners.  Set aside 15 minutes to read it to a relatively quiet, engaged listener.  5-year-olds enjoy much of this book, and older kids will relate to the social faux pas and word play.  Definitely check Miss Alaineus out!

Big Words:

obliterate
oblivion
pathetic
precious
capable
apprehend
certainty
undertook
unforgettable
restraint
precipitation
astonishment
investigator
mysterious
zest
glee
strands
gruesome
inevitable
improve
insanity
knowledge
pronounce
museum
exhibiting
prehistoric
extinct
sage
mournful
miscellaneous
humbled
devastated
hypothesis
croak
catastrophe
definitions
unduly
transport
consisting
defective
dwindle
delirious
swollen
pasteurization
endure
extraordinary
ancestor
ancient
ailment
agony
thicket
luminous
celestial
berserk
bacteria
constrictor
reptile
herpetologist
fossil
carnivore
herbivore
species
theory

I, Crocodile

by Fred Marcellino
Harper Collins Publishers

Big and Bigger Words:

succulent
delectable
pathetic
aristocrat
descendant
noble
ancestors
obelisk
abrupt
scrumptious
flattering
idol
idle
seizing
loutish
sentimental
mishap
flee
peril
dank
fetid
I, Crocodile is a read-alouder’s dream!  History, humor, and vocabulary accompany delicious illustrations for an entertaining and purpose-filled read.  The main character is a crocodile, ripped from his home in Egypt and ending gleefully in the sewers of Paris.  He introduces kids to Napoleonic raids and French society while filing their ears with sumptuous words.  It’s a fun read-aloud and fantastic teaching tool.  This one is worth owning, as it can be read repeatedly to layer and re-layer the variety of vocabulary offered.