Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss

Noah Webster and His Words

line Noah Webster and His Words
by Jeri Chase Ferris (Author), Vincent X. Kirsch (Illustrator)

bi.og.ra.phy [noun.: written history of a person’s life]

Noah Webster was born to a farmer in Connecticut. By age of 12, he knew how to grow everything. And although his father said that Noah would be a “fine farmer”, Noah did not want to be one! He didn’t want to be a farmer at all!

Noah Webster and His Words No Farmer

Noah wanted to be a SCHOL-AR[noun: one who goes to school; a person who knows a lot]. He graduated from Yale and decided to become a teacher. He wrote the first American Spelling book, an American grammar book, a reader and many more school books for his students.

Noah Webster and His Words Teacher

Later, he decided to write the very first American dictionary. He planned to explain every word in the English language including new American words. Finally, 2000 pages and 20 years later, Webster penned his last word for the dictionary ZY-GO-MAT-IC[adj.:related to the cheek-bone]. Webster’s dictionary was published in 1828 and he gave it to America with these words:

To my fellow citizens…
for their happiness and learning..
for their moral and religious elevation…
and for the glory of my country…
Noah Webster and His Words Final Work

Noah died in 1843, but his life’s work lives on today.

Noah Webster and His Words Real Image

“Noah Webster and His Words” is not only superb in its dedication to his life’s work, but also a very clever picture book biography. The story is written simply and packed with facts. The text breaks down long and complex words like so: REV-O-LU-TION-AR-Y[noun: one who calls for radical change]. The insertion of dictionary words make for creative reading. It is a fun way to read the meaning of words and learn to spell them at the same time! The illustrations are fun to see with Noah’s head unusually large to emphasize that Noah was indeed a “scholar” Smile

Noah Webster and His Words Dictionary 1828

The book is a great introduction to a “Dictionary” and the man behind the American Dictionary. This book is a keeper. If you and your child are interested in exploring activities, find a useful resource here (CCSS guide, historical timeline, games, word label game cards, crossword puzzle, dictionary locator, audacious alphabetizing, discussion questions) We tried several of these and have enjoyed them very much!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


  1. Thank you for the great review of NOAH! This book has also just received the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators for Best Non Fiction book of 2012!

    • reshamad

      Hello Jeri,
      We loved the book and keep going back to it for so many reasons. I think its a worthy addition to any child’s library. Very well researched and written!

  2. Great review! I heard Jeri speak at recent SCBWI event — bravo!

    • reshamad

      Thanks for your kind words on the review. I would love to meet Jeri in person. Her books are so well written!

  3. Zoe

    Sounds like a great topic for a book! As a Brit, I’d love to know what the new American words were which he included.

    • reshamad

      Thanks for stopping by Zoe. Yes the book does mention some very interesting differences in words used in the American context Happy Reading!


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