MEET THE WOEBEGONE FISH / by Tim Hopgood

Woebegone! It's not a word that crops up very often and certainly not in picture books. And how about lugubrious? that's another word that rarely sees the light of day. But you'll find both of these words in Joyce Dunbar's new book 'Twinkle, Twinkle Squiglet Pig'Quite fitting I think for a story that is set at the bottom of the ocean in almost complete darkness. It's also a story full of weird and wonderful fish, all of which are based on real deep sea creatures. I know some may feel that words like woebegone and lugubrious don't belong in a picture book, because they're not words that children will instantly understand and adults will need to explain their meaning. Other words would do: why not use miserable or sad? they're far more child-friendly. But woebegone rolls around on your tongue, it's so much more expressive than miserable. And how exciting to discover a new word like lugubrious. It's fun to learn how to get your mouth around new words and make new sounds. Try saying lugubrious out loud and you'll be doing a fine impression of a fish!

New words are all part of sharing a good bedtime read. So hooray for Joyce for introducing us to some unfamiliar words and to some unfamiliar creatures too!