Audiobook Review: The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane

The Lost Words
by Robert Macfarlane

Publication date: October 5th 2017
Publisher: Penguin


From Acorn to Weasel: a gorgeous, hand-illustrated, large-format spellbook celebrating the magic and wonder of the natural world

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children’s minds.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive, British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

Source: Goodreads


“The Lost Words” is an award winning book by Robert Macfarlane. As far as I understand, the print copy of this book is full of beautiful pictures of the fauna and flora described in its pages. I chose the audiobook where, in place of the pictures, the text was intertwined with sounds of bird singing, leaves rustling and animals calling.

This was a quick listen, I think it was just under an hour in total. It wasn’t until writing this review and reading more about it that I have discovered that the intended audience is children.

The 2007 edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary excluded about forty common words on the theme of nature as they were deemed less popular and less commonly used by children in the modern world. That’s the premise of this book. It’s a collection of poetic verse celebrating the natural world and the little things that we forget about in busy modern day life.

I found the audiobook to be calming and relaxing and I think this can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, not just children. That said, I think choosing the audiobook meant I lost a lot of the magic of this book. The book’s illustrations, the format and the ability to take each verse in at a slower pace would probably have made for a better reading experience for me.

Overall rating: “The Lost Words” is a beautiful audiobook, narrated by a selection of famous voices. I enjoyed this collection of poetry, but I can’t help but feel that the print book would have made for a more magical read. It’s 3 stars from me.

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