DK Canada (always!) has some great books to help with any project or subject.
Little Guy and Gramma thought that the Children's Illustrated Dictionary(Canadian edition) looked like a book we would like to explore further. The pictures on the cover immediately caught his eye, but he didn't know what the knight was. Perfect - let's go find out.
There are many ways to 'read' this book. You could start at the beginning and go page by page. Or pick a letter to explore fully - it's easy to choose as the letters are on the cut edge and the current one is highlighted. But Little Guy has no interest in being methodical. Instead he just started in the middle and stopped whenever a picture caught his eye. At first it was the ones he recognized and we would talk about it, with Gramma taking a quick peek at the text accompanying the picture to see if there was any additional facts I could mention. Now, not every entry has a picture, but as an example, a page with eighteen entries had thirteen images. The images are a mixture of actual and drawn. I do think having all actual images would be more 'real'. The drawn images are accurate, but not as appealing to view.
The words chosen are of course not what you would find in an adult discretionary, but they are words that would be appropriate for learning and confirming for a variety of ages. The recommended age says 5-9. I do think that some nine year olds may find this a bit juvenile. The explanations are short and sweet, but do convey the meanings well. Little Guy will be able to grow with this book. Right now, some of the words are above and beyond his vocabulary, but the sheer volume of pictures and things he does recognize and can name greatly appeals to him.
As always, the book is printed on good quality paper, with full colour images and easy to read type, well spaced and inviting to look at. Appendices included are abbreviations, spelling guide, word building, facts and figures and countries of the world - these are most definitely for older readers.
This was a good introduction to a reference book. And it's one that keeps him interested while Mom is making supper.