Picture dictionaries are perfect for the earliest learners. Children who are just learning the alphabet or are trying to master alphabetical order will find a picture dictionary useful. A young child can learn from a picture dictionary by looking at the pages on her own, but will gain more from using the dictionary with an adult.
Elementary dictionaries are perfect for children between the ages of seven and ten. These dictionaries include all the elements of a dictionary, but are written to be child-friendly. The words are chosen from the language most used by elementary aged children. The definitions are simple and the print is large enough to be comfortable and engaging for children.
Every child will be asked to learn the different parts of a dictionary and how and why to use them at some point. As vocabulary study is almost always included in a reading program, children will need to be able to look up words in the dictionary. Early readers will need to master alphabetization while intermediate learners will be expected to use guide words and to understand pronunciation guidelines.
Although, it is important that children practice dictionary skills and eventually master their use, there are times when it is inappropriate to send a child to the dictionary. Kids' dictionaries are a great resource when a child is required to define vocabulary words, but children should not be sent to the dictionary when reading for meaning or writing if at all possible.
Mostly, such dictionaries include: clear simple definitions, full-colour photographs and drawings;
Commonly the compilers of such dictionaries try to make them easy-to-use; Alphabetical index for easy reference is also a feature of some dictionaries for children;
In most cases, many various Kids’ dictionaries have a special thematic colour picture section on topics ranging from animals, colours, clothes, classroom language, numbers, weather, family, and words pupils need to know when on holiday;
The main features of children dictionaries (2)
These dictionaries can be monolingual or bilingual;
There are many up-to-date dictionaries with colour photos and artwork in a handy format;
Dictionaries for children include accessible layout and design appropriate for the exact age group;
Dictionaries for children can be subdivided into three groups according to the age of the learner: Picture Kids’ dictionaries, Elementary dictionary and Intermediate dictionaries.
Kids’ dictionaries can be defined as mostly comprising (thematic) colourful pictures or drawings accompanying the word; may have alphabetical index; some of dictionaries include information on word families, usage, compounds and derived words.
Dictionaries for children can be in the written or online form.