Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids

Children - Educational
120 Pages
Reviewed on 05/07/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

SB Hilarion is the author and main illustrator of the Raising Young Scholars Series featuring siblings Hao and Sabine Lee. The author of I AM Manifesto, she enjoys sharing new things that she learns. After all, that's what a philomath would do. She holds a B.A. in political science and sociology, and a Master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a law degree from Harvard. Hilarion lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and some deer and groundhogs who refuse to pay rent.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is a nonfiction educational book for children written and illustrated by SB Hilarion. Hao Finley Lee (HF) and his little sister, Sabine Yi Lee (SY) are philomaths, and they really enjoy it. What’s a philomath, you may wonder? According to the definition provided at the beginning of this book, a philomath is “a seeker of knowledge; a person who loves learning and studying new facts and acquiring new knowledge.” And by even picking up this book and reading through the first page or two, kids and adults alike will find themselves suddenly appreciating the concept that they might already be philomaths themselves.
Each chapter in this quite engrossing book covers a letter of the alphabet. No big deal, you say? Actually, it is. Along with learning the pronunciation and meanings of words that will dazzle parents, teachers and fellow students alike, readers are treated to entertaining snippets, drawings, and even some science as they read through this book. And while the thought of learning vocabulary usually makes even the most dedicated student yawn and start to feel drowsy, this book will achieve the exact opposite reaction in all but the truly undead zombies out there.

I love words and have always considered that I have a fairly strong grasp of vocabulary, at least English vocabulary, that is. SB Hilarion’s uniquely mesmerizing vocabulary primer had me questioning my actual credentials as a philomath from the very first page. I love this book! I enjoyed the presentations my two hosts, HF and SY, gave in each chapter, and I had to slow myself down to adequately digest all the data, drawings, humor and knowledge found on each page. This book is a sheer delight and will, no doubt, convert even the most abject despiser of vocabulary drills into a fellow philomath, one who easily uses the most amazing words and actually knows what they mean. Each word presented is given glorious, multicolor life, making learning an interactive and simply amazing experience. I hope that Hilarion, HF and SY are planning further books and eagerly await further learning adventures with them. Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is both humongous and cool -- it’s also most highly recommended.

Mamta Madhavan

Let's see what siblings Hao Finley and Sabine Yi Lee have to teach us in this book. We will certainly improve our vocabularies by reading Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids by SB Hilarion. This book takes young readers on an alphabetical journey of learning new things that covers many aspects and whatever knowledge the siblings have. They share details on many subjects - science, math, history, culture, music, etiquette, food, animals, complicated things, simple things, and much more fun and interesting stuff in alphabetical order. This book of humongous and cool words will have all youngsters learning new words with great zest and interest.

This book is refreshingly unique and, after reading many books on the alphabet, this one captivated me with its novelty and uniqueness when it comes to imparting information. This book is not only for children but for all seekers of knowledge who love to learn more about what is happening around them on the global platform. The information is conveyed in a way that is appealing and entertaining and does not sound boring. The illustrations add to the appeal of the contents and help by pulling child readers into the book. This is the second book that I have read by this author. What I admire about her writing style are the spiritual subtleties she inserts into the writing, giving her books a positive vibe.

Divine Zape

My eight-year-old son loves science and English and it was a great delight going through Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids by SB Hilarion with him. This is an educational book that introduces young readers to other cultures, science, and the environment. It features 15-20+ selected words for each letter of the alphabet and explains the words with the help of colorful illustrations, dialogues between the characters, and contexts in which the words are used. The author makes it more interesting and realistic by infusing lively interactions into the work. The pages are filled with colorful images and readers understand how words are linked to culture, including Western, Asian, European and more.

Kids will enjoy the journey of siblings Hao Finley and Sabine Yi Lee as they get knowledge from around the world and find it delightful to partake in the adventure. There's fun and humor in the experience and the interactions bring a human dimension into the learning experience. For instance, notice their exploration of the word diadem:

“(3) “A diadem is like a crown,
worn as a symbol of royalty.”—HF
“Well, Mommy and Daddy call me
Princess all the time, so I can
wear one on my head.”—SY”

And there is poetry too, beautiful and endearing, and the lines below capture the family spirit that reinforces learning, making it a fun adventure:

“I love you. You love me.
You are Mommy’s angel tree.
Mommy loves her baby.
Daddy loves his baby.
Yes, I do. Yes, we do.”

Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is a fun read, a book that showcases the author's creativity and ingenuity. It is a very useful tool for instructors and family study time. This book offers children an opportunity to expand, not only their knowledge but their culture. For my son, it was an interesting experience and can now identify a specific Korean meal and something unique to the Japanese. A highly recommended book for young readers.

K.C. Finn

Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is an educational children’s book penned by author S B Hilarion. Designed in a witty and approachable style, two central characters - Hao Finley and Sabine Yi Lee - invite readers to journey with them around the world as they discover new and exciting words and place them in the context of their culture or domain. With education as a top priority, the collection includes illustrations and explanations in an encyclopedia layout style, providing a colorful and eye-catching way to explain each word. The collection cycles through the whole alphabet with 15-20 new words for most letters.

The biggest draw of this collection for me was the brief but bright introductions to each new word on every page, specially formatted with bright colors and fun drawings that are sure to get young readers excited about learning. I know I would have loved a book like this as a child, journeying with Hao and Sabine as they use such weird and wonderful words in their peculiar turns of phrase. The formatting is a little tricky to get your head around at first as the words jump around the page a bit in different boxes of different shapes, but the quirky layout also adds a freshness to the reading experience as you go along. Most of the explanations provide a lot of clarity I’d say for readers aged around ten and above, and overall S B Hilarion has done a superb job providing many Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids as promised.