Review Blog

Nov 20 2016

Word Hunters Top Secret Files by Nick Earls

cover image

Graphic Designer: Terry Whidborne. UQP, 2016. ISBN 9780702254024
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Word Hunters: Top Secret Files is a visually engaging compendium of word origins, letters, notes, sketches, diagrams, photographs, diary entries and historical facts. There's a feast of information, presented in a multi-layered style with colourful text boxes stuck down with tape, engaging font styles and sizes, different papers, splats and splodges of ink accompanied by Terry Whidborne's and Nick Earl's humourous comments and asides.
Familiar characters from the Word Hunters Trilogy, Mursili and Caractacus once again ask for the assistance of twins Al and Lexi, Grandad Al and other word hunters. Their task is to uncover the origins of words, research the beginnings of the alphabet and preserve the future existence of the English language. Humorously Al Hunter reminds us of words that have disappeared - pigsney, fudgel and snecklifter for example.
The history of tennis and cricket; the word origins for 'busk', 'guy' and 'feisty' are extensively researched and the recipes for Hittite Bread and Cleopatra's Sweet Sesame Honey Balls are included. Detailed instructions, diagrams and drawings are included for the creating of dragon scale armour.
Nick Earls and Terry Whidborne's Word Hunters Top Secret Files encourages active research skills, exploring etymology, historical facts and figures and writing narratives. Readers can also connect to online resources, including the Layar app, which brings up additional digital experiences. A fun fact-filled, high interest book just right for those readers who love the Guinness Book of Records.
Rhyllis Bignell

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