The Lost Words | Beautiful Books for all Ages | Jackie Morris - Alder & Alouette

The Lost Words | Nature, Acrostics & Other Poetry, Beautiful Nature Art | Ages 3 to 103

Regular price $35.00
Unit price  per 
Shipping calculated at checkout.


In 2007, when a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary -- widely used in schools around the world -- was published, a sharp-eyed reader soon noticed that around forty common words concerning nature had been dropped.

Apparently they were no longer being used enough by children to merit their place in the dictionary.

The list of these "lost words" included acorn, adder, bluebell, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter, and willow. Among the words taking their place were attachment, blog, broadband, bullet-point, cut-and-paste, and voice-mail.

The news of these substitutions -- the outdoor and natural being displaced by the indoor and virtual -- became seen by many as a powerful sign of the growing gulf between childhood and the natural world.

Ten years later, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris set out to make a “lost words” book to bring back twenty of these lost words, and the beings they name, from acorn to wren. By the magic of word and paint, they sought to summon these words again into the voices, stories, and dreams of children and adults alike, and to celebrate the wonder and importance of everyday nature.

The Lost Words is that book -- a work that has already cast its extraordinary spell on hundreds of thousands of people and begun a grass-roots movement to re-wild childhood across Britain, Europe, and North America.

This is one of those unique books that works for adults and children alike. The beautiful illustrations Jackie Morris is so known for plus the acrostics and other poems throughout the book are all-absorbing no matter the age from 3 to 103. 

This is a book that is just as perfect for gift giving as it is for a classroom or homeschool resource. It’s at home in a science room, art room, language arts room, or library in a school. It works on a grandmother’s coffee table, as well as the young newlywed’s and is just at home in the preschooler’s room as it is in the nature student’s dorm room.  

Once you read the book and love it, because you will, check out The Lost Words card game for children and adults, The Lost Words jigsaw puzzle of magpies and MacFarlane and Morris’ follow-up book of more lost words in nature called, The Lost Spells.


  • Finalist, Wainwright Prize
  • CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Award


  • Written by Robert MacFarland and illustrated by Jackie Morris. 
  • Published by Anansi International, October 2, 2018.
  • Written for multiple ages from 3 to 103.  (of course a 3 year old would need some guidance!) 
  • 0.75" H x 14.81" L x 11.0" W (3.2 lbs) 128 pages
  • Hardcover



"This union of natural history, poetry, art, and whimsy is, indeed, a truly enchanting all-ages book of life to contemplate, read aloud, and share." -- Booklist

"My top book of the year." -- Spectator

"Gorgeous to look at and to read. Give it to a child to bring back the magic of language - and its scope." -- Jeanette Winterson

"A gorgeous book!" -- @MargaretAtwood

"Art, verse, and nature are combined with entertaining elegance in The Lost Words . . . This large, quality hardcover allows words and watercolour to shine and results in a work that can be left open at any page to stunning effect." -- Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW

"A sumptuous, nostalgic ode to a disappearing landscape." -- Kirkus Reviews

"The most beautiful and thought-provoking book I've read this year." -- Frank Cottrell-Boyce

"A breathtaking book." -- New Statesman

"Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris have made a thing of astonishing beauty." -- Alex Preston

"Utterly enchanting, it's a celebration of nature -- but also language itself. If I ran the world, it'd be in every school library and classroom possible." -- Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

"One of the most stunningly beautiful books I have had the pleasure of reading (and rereading) this year." -- Fab Book Reviews