The Lost Words: a spell book

Words have power, and many believe that speaking them aloud brings that power into the world. And just as using words summons their power, letting them fall into silence diminished them into impotence. But silence need not be forever.

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris explores 20 words that were removed from a prestigious children’s dictionary because they were deemed uncommonly used by children between the ages of six and eight.

What does it say about a society where words like broadband and voicemail are more commonly used by first and second graders than acorn, fern, and dandelion? Where technology is favored over nature and the outdoors? This book aims to bring the magic of these nature-related words back to life by encouraging families to share them together.

Thus, with this book I invite you to cast yourself back to a time before video game consoles, television or even radios. When families used to gather together and share their favourite stories. I invite you to share the intricately beautiful illustrations and skillfully crafted poems compiled in this book out loud with your friends, family or loved ones

I think this books deserves to be lauded for combining two of my favourite things: nature and words.

If your audience includes children, I suggest you also have a dictionary at hand to complete this nature-learning and vocabulary-building experience. Those wishing to delve even deeper into the world of The Lost Words can enjoy the free “Explorer’s guide to The Lost Words” at for many activities that can be enjoyed by classes, families and outdoor aficionados alike.

Author: Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

Publisher: House of Anansi Press Inc.

Publishing year: 2018

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