My book review of 'Peter the Cat's Little Book of Big Words' by Zeb Soanes and illustrated by James Mayhew

by Zeb Soanes and illustrated by James Mayhew
Peter the Cat's Little Book of Big Words
by Zeb Soanes and illustrated by James Mayhew

This is the fifth book in the Gaspard the Fox picture book series, and I'm a bit of a fan of these stories of a city fox and his friends, told by the BBC presenter Zeb Soanes and wonderfully illustrated by James Mayhew. Read my interview with them both here and take a look at my reviews of the first in the series here and Gaspard's Foxtrot here.

In this instalment we hear from Gaspard's friend, the rather superior, intellectual cat, Peter. It's not a story this time, instead Peter introduces us to some of his favourite words and explains what they mean. The accompanying illustrations are taken from the earlier books. 

There are words to describe everything, says Peter. And having the perfect word means you can explain exactly how a thing looks, smells or feels with just one word instead of several. So why say big when you can describe something as gargantuan? Or chatty when you can say loquacious?

They're long and delicious words which Peter has gathered from listening to the radio, he says. He's become a logophile (someone who likes words) and encourages the readers to join him in becoming a philomath (someone who learns to love new things).

But 'new words, when we hear them, are a bit like gift vouchers,' Peter says, 'if you don’t use them, you’ll forget about them. So I encourage you to keep a little notebook of any big words you hear at the back of this book and use them straight away.'

Though the format of this book will appeal to younger readers, the words are gloriously ambitious. It is a book to enjoy together and the words will be loved and cherished through the years! Brilliant and wonderful!

Date of this review: October 2023
Book publication date: 10th November 2023