Ultimate Visual Dictionary
A Visual Learning Experience, September 30, 2003
The Rebecca Review
I've been a fan of the DK Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary
(see below) for a few years now. The DK Ultimate Visual
Dictionary is the next step. It is not a dictionary in which the
words are organized with pictures in alphabetical order.
However, you can look up the words and find the corresponding
page numbers, so finding words is relatively easy.
This is a book in which 14 sections explain everything from
The Universe to Calligraphy. This book doesn't include
individual sentences using the words. "It shows you what
each word means!" There are detailed illustrations and
gorgeous photographs in rich color. Annotations surround the
In the introduction, they explain how if you wanted to know
what the bone at the end of your little finger was called, a
normal dictionary would leave you still wondering. With this
dictionary, all you have to do is look up "hand" and
you find your way to page 211. This is the section on the human
body. Turn a few pages and you start to see amazingly detailed
information. By page 230, you will see the hand in full detail
and find a picture with the annotation reading: "Distal
phalanx." The "Visual Dictionary" gives you
access to thousands of words used by architects, musicians,
doctors, scientists, sportspeople, astronomers and mechanics.
The 14 Sections include:
The Universe - This book
explains why the Milky Way appears brighter in the southern sky
than in the northern sky. There are pictures of everything from
the solar system to the individual planets, stars and black
Prehistoric Earth - Kids
will love the pictures of the dinosaurs and the constant
movement of the earth's crustal plates shows how the continents
have moved across the earth's surface.
Plants - This book
contains perhaps the most interesting explanation of
photosynthesis and pollination I've seen yet. Kids will enjoy
reading about the Venus Flytrap or how a seed germinates.
Animals -The skeletal
structures and internal organs (mostly drawings) of a wide
variety of animals are all shown in pictures. I loved the part
where they show the hatching of a quail's egg. The rabbits and
rodents section will be of interest to anyone who has these cute
animals as pets.
The Human Body - If you
want to know where the organs in your body are located or are
even just trying to name various parts of a body, this section
is essential for writing, research and home study projects. You
can grab this book and see what an instructor is talking about
when she says "deltoid" or "external
oblique." The section on the development of jaw and teeth
was very helpful in understanding how you eventually get your
set of 32 permanent teeth. You see it all in a series of
pictures. The Development of a baby will fascinate children.
Geology, Geography, and Meteorology
- There is a section devoted to minerals. Kids will also enjoy
the section on volcanoes and fossils. I always wondered how
Physics and Chemistry - A
full periodic table and visual explanation of chemical
reactions, light, electricity, atoms and force and motion are
Rail and Road -A
Volkswagen Beetle is disassembled, modern engines are shown in
sectioned view and the mechanical components of a typical car
are shown with all the parts spread out across the page. The
section on "Bicycle Anatomy" will be of use to anyone
who loves to ride and fix their own bikes.
Sea and Air - Everything
from Viking Ships to the anatomy of an iron ship, jet engines
The Visual Arts - Finally
an explanation on how mosaics are created. The budding artist
will also enjoy the section on painting.
Architecture - I was
fascinated by the Medieval castles and churches. Someone spent a
lot of time tracking down the models for buildings from Ancient
Rome to modern times. What a collection!
Music - Trying to learn
how to read notes or interested in the names of all the
instruments in an orchestra? They even take a guitar apart and
sow you a variety of acoustic guitars.
Sports - An extremely
detailed section on every main sport you can think of. The
playing field, rules, equipment, everything is shown. They even
have pictures of each type of swimming stroke. I'm impressed!
The authors thought of everything.
The Modern World -Ever
wonder what the internal components of your Cell phone, PDA, or
even vacuum cleaner looks like? The section describing the
Internet was in itself worth the price of this book. Information
on cloning technology, political maps of the world, time zones
and metric-imperial conversions makes this very useful.
Each sections starts with a table of contents and then every
entry has introductions that explain the purpose of the
illustrations and annotations.
Since I am presently reading a book about health and the
function of our cells, page 216-217 was very helpful. I first
looked up "Mitochondrion" and was sent to page 217 and
239. There before my eyes was a cell in full detail. There is
also a series of microscopic pictures of a wide variety of cells
on the right hand side. The actual cell takes up most of the two
In fact, this dictionary has more than 31,500 terms and 6,000
color photographs and illustrations. This is the dictionary I
would have loved to have had as a teenager. It would have made
all my classes at school much more interesting.
Highly recommended for teachers, libraries and families with
One of the most useful and beautiful books I've ever read.
Put a copy on your coffee table and enter the world of knowledge
once a day. Soon, the world will just be far more interesting.
You will feel that X-ray vision when you look at normal objects
in your home and environment.
Oxford American Dictionary
dictionary you will love..., August 22, 2001
I used this dictionary to look up a word on about the third
day I owned it. I was delightfully surprised to find pictures!
There are over 4,500 color images to give instant visual
definitions and they help to bring unfamiliar items to life and
they add a deeper understanding of the words.
600 illustrated feature panels also provide in-depth
information on topics such as: technology, natural history, art
and music. There are also hundreds of new words and phrases from
voice mail to sport utility vehicle which gives an up-to-date
appeal to this book.
This might just be the most authoritative and accessible
illustrated dictionary of American English available today. With
187,000 definitions and entries and an easy-to-use thumb
index...it is the only dictionary I will be using at home when I
don't want to go look up a word online.
This work represents the collaboration between DK and Oxford.
Oxford has published dictionaries for over 150 years. DK is well
known for their visually stunning books.
The pictures really help to give your eyes a break from an
overwhelming number of words and definitions. I especially liked
the picture of the ocelot on page 565. On page 132 they have
listed many of the main cat breeds with pictures.
I could not resist looking up: condescending...to see if it
really didn't say what it meant. Only because the reviewer
before me said it seemed to convey a different meaning. I guess
maybe they only read Condescend. You decide after reading the
Condescend: Behave as if one is on equal terms with (an
inferior), while maintaining an attitude of superiority. or
The Reference Section includes a Political Map of the World,
A Physical map of the World, Countries of the World and their
flags, The Night Sky, Measurements, the Periodic Table, Time
Periods, Wedding Anniversaries, Birthstones, Time Zones, States
of the US, Presidents of the US, Books of the Bible, The Living
World (classification system), The Animal Kingdom
(classification of the animal kingdom) and a section on Grammar
A work of Art!