Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Words, Peter learned, were powerful things. And when he put them in long, neat rows, he felt as if the world itself clicked into order.

For shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions — and it wasn't long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn't write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and used it to organize his ideas and find exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time.

Find this Caldecott Honor biography in local independent bookstores, through IndieBound, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or in your local library.

FOR EDUCATORS: The Classroom Bookshelf created a detailed and valuable resource guide including references, links, as well as Teaching Ideas and Invitations for grades kindergarten and up.

What’s the right word? Check out the book trailer, as well as the trailer for the Texas Bluebonnet nomination.


ALA Caldecott Honor Book

ALA Sibert Medal

ALA Notable Children’s Books

Kirkus Prize Finalist for Young Readers' Literature

School Library Journal Best Books

Kirkus Best of 2014

Publishers Weekly Best Books

Horn Book Fanfare

Huffington Post Best Picture Books

New York Times Notable Children's Books 

Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award

NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

The Children's Literature Assembly, Notable Children's Books

Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year

Teachers' Choice Reading List

Sweet envisions Roget’s work as a shadow box crammed with the wonders of the natural world, adorned with exuberant hand-lettered typography. Together with Bryant’s sympathetic account, Sweet’s gentle riot of images and words humanizes the man behind this ubiquitous reference work and demystifies the thesaurus itself.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
Bryant’s prose is bright and well-tuned for young readers. . . . Sweet tops herself — again! — visually reflecting Roget’s wide range as a thinker and product of the Enlightenment. In a word: marvelous!
— Kirkus, starred review
Apt language and ingenious imagery. . . . both decorous and warm.
— Horn Book, starred review
Young readers will see that each page of this book, like each page of ‘Roget’s Thesaurus,’ contains multitudes.
— Washington Post
A fascinating look at a tool many of us take for granted.
— School Library Monthly
In brilliant pages teeming with enthusiasm for language and learning, Bryant and Sweet joyfully celebrate curiosity, the love of knowledge, and the power of words.
— Booklist, starred review
Those who have relied upon a thesaurus . . . will gain a greater appreciation for the reference tool in this beautifully designed picture book biography of its creator, Peter Roget. . . . Sweet’s charming watercolor illustrations, layered over collages of vintage images and fonts, capture Roget’s passion for classification while also providing readers new opportunities for discovery. . . . Expertly researched and well written, Bryant’s narrative not only details the creation of the thesaurus; it also conveys a sense of Roget the man. . . . An excellent illustrated biography.
— School Library Journal, starred review
Spirited portrait of the Swiss-born Victorian who found an ingenious way to help people say what they mean.
— New York Times
“Encourages a sense of wonder. . . . Myriad visual temptations luring viewers into a fine browsing experience.”
— The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books