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Punctuation Takes a Vacation
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About the Author

Robin Pulver is a popular picture book author whose website is robinpulver.com. She lives in upstate New York.

Lynn Rowe Reed writes and illustrates picture books and lives in Indiana. You can visit her website at lynnrowereed.com

Reviews

Gr 1-3-"Day after day, the punctuation marks showed up in Mr. Wright's classroom. Day after day, they did their jobs. They put up with being erased and replaced and corrected and ignored and moved around." Miffed when the teacher quips, "Let's give punctuation a vacation," the various marks decide to take a trip and rush out the door. The class misses them almost immediately, as nothing the students read or write makes any sense without them. The vacationers send postcards back to the class requiring the children to dissect the clever wordplay and figure out which marks sent which cards. The youngsters send their own card apologizing, and all ends happily as the punctuation marks return and order is restored. Pulver's clever story moves along at a nice clip and makes its point without belaboring the matter. Reed's acrylics-on-canvas illustrations are rich in color and texture, and add to the amusement of the story. A lighthearted choice to be read independently or used to introduce a language-arts lesson.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

This entertaining tale-cum-grammar lesson begins when, after days of teaching about commas, periods and question marks, Mr. Wright suggests to his class, "Let's give punctuation a vacation." While the students run cheering to the playground, the punctuation marks left on the blackboard take his words literally and head off for a holiday. Reed paints with a funky, na f style using zippy oranges, teals, purples and cobalt blues. Facial features as elemental as jack-o-lanterns and bodies as rubbery as Gumby heighten the fun as the quotation marks sunbathe side by side, the apostrophe waterskis and the exclamation point goes tubing. Each of the comical postcards they mail back to the class offers a clue as to its sender: "Do you miss us? How much? Why couldn't we take a vacation sooner? Guess who?" The mayhem left in the vacationers' absence is just as funny. When Mr. Wright begins to read from a book, he observes: "This is weird the punctuation is missing uh oh where could it be yikes." While spinning this amusing tale, Pulver (Mrs. Toggle's Class Picture Day) manages to teach a good deal about punctuation (a list of clearly explained usage rules appears at the end). Little will children realize how much they are learning, between the verbal shenanigans and the eye-popping illustrations. Ages 5-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

* "Pulver's clever story moves along at a nice clip and makes its point without belaboring the matter. Reed's acrylics-on-canvas illustrations are rich in color and texture, and add to the amusement of the story. A lighthearted choice to be read independently or used to introduce a language-arts lesson."--School Library Journal, Starred Review

"Pulver, the author of the ''Mrs. Toggle'' books, gives each punctuation mark its own personality. The quotation marks can't stop talking, the colons are always telling time, and the exclamation points stand on their heads in excitement. A helpful listing at the end (''Punctuation Rules!'') summarizes everybody's job. And Lynn Rowe Reed's childlike acrylic paintings perfectly capture the mood of whimsical fantasy. Try to imagine a bikini-clad comma on water skis."--The New York Times Book Review "Pulver . . . has outdone herself in this ingenious take on learning. Everything from the punctuation marks' postcards to the endpapers emphasizes the importance of punctuation in our everyday lives. . . . whimsical, child-like paintings put faces on each character, bringing them further to life as they cavort on the shores of the lake. What a fun way to teach; every language arts teacher needs this to punctuate their instruction, no matter the grade level."--Kirkus Reviews "Reed paints with a funky, na f style using zippy oranges, teals, purples and cobalt blues. Facial features as elemental as jack-o-lanterns and bodies as rubbery as Gumby heighten the fun as the quotation marks sunbathe side by side, the apostrophe waterskis and the exclamation point goes tubing. . . . Little will children realize how much they are learning, between the verbal shenanigans and the eye-popping illustrations."--Publishers Weekly "A straightforward list of punctuation rules rounds out this inventive and entertaining device for getting kids to understand usage, which proves that nothing makes sense without punctuation. Right? Right!"--Booklist

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