A History of Words for Children

Mary Richards, Rose Blake

A children’s history of the world told via the development of language, featuring the wordsmiths, civilizations, and tools that have shaped the ways humans communicate. 

A History of Words for Children explores the uniquely human ability to share thoughts using words. Written in a lively narrative style, this book presents a history of the world through language, introducing young readers to the civilizations, inventions, and writers who have shaped the way we communicate.

Divided into themed chapters to help young minds grasp difficult concepts, the book explores what words are and how humans communicate; the development of writing implements; the history of printed books; the process of learning another language; dialects and accents and the way language can reflect our identity; the power of words to calm, inspire, and rally crowds; graffiti’s role in spreading messages; codes and invented languages; the patterns of poetry; the future of words; and languages facing extinction.

Featuring examples like the Grimm Brothers, Emily Dickinson, and King Ashurbanipal’s library, the book also includes illustrations by Rose Blake that add a cast of humorous and helpful characters to explain the wide variety of ideas. A History of Words for Children inspires creative minds and helps them understand how we communicate. 


Mary Richards


Mary Richards is an award-winning art publisher, writer, and illustrator. She adapted and edited David Hockney's best-selling A History of Pictures for Children and is the author of A History of Music for Children and A History of Words for Children.

Rose Blake

Illustrated By

Rose Blake is an award-winning artist and illustrator who has illustrated numerous books for children, including A History of Pictures for Children.