Anansi International

The Lost Words

Written by Robert Macfarlane • Illustrated by Jackie Morris

Published October 02, 2018 | ISBN 9781487005382
ART / Subjects & Themes / Plants & Animals

Cover of The Lost Words

Regular price $40.00 CAD

128 pages | 14.5 in × 10.75 in
Print Format

About this book

The Lost Words

Robert Macfarlane • Jackie Morris

Winner, CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal
Finalist, Wainwright Prize


In 2007, when a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary — widely used in schools around the world — was published, a sharp-eyed reader soon noticed that around forty common words concerning nature had been dropped. Apparently they were no longer being used enough by children to merit their place in the dictionary. The list of these “lost words” included acorn, adder, bluebell, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter, and willow. Among the words taking their place were attachment, blog, broadband, bullet-point, cut-and-paste, and voice-mail. The news of these substitutions — the outdoor and natural being displaced by the indoor and virtual — became seen by many as a powerful sign of the growing gulf between childhood and the natural world.

Ten years later, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris set out to make a “spell book” that will conjure back twenty of these lost words, and the beings they name, from acorn to wren. By the magic of word and paint, they sought to summon these words again into the voices, stories, and dreams of children and adults alike, and to celebrate the wonder and importance of everyday nature. The Lost Words is that book — a work that has already cast its extraordinary spell on hundreds of thousands of people and begun a grass-roots movement to re-wild childhood across Britain, Europe, and North America.

About the Creators

Robert Macfarlane

ROBERT MACFARLANE is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and the author of a number of bestselling and prize-winning books, including The Wild Places, The Old Ways, Holloway, Landmarks, and Underland, which won the Wainwright Prize. His work has been translated into many languages and widely adapted for film, television, and radio. The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the E. M. Forster Award for Literature in 2017. He is a word collector and mountain climber — and he has three children who have taught him more about the world than any book.

Jackie Morris

JACKIE MORRIS grew up in the Vale of Evesham and studied at Hereford College of Arts and at Bath Academy. She won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the highest honour in children’s book illustration, forThe Lost Words. She has illustrated for the New Statesman, the Independent, and the Guardian, collaborated with Ted Hughes, and has written and illustrated over forty books, including beloved classics such as The Snow Leopard, The Ice Bear, 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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