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PENNY AND THE PUNCTUATION BEE

Author: Moira Rose Donohue

Illustrator: Jenny Law

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Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company,

Material: hard cover

Summary: All of the students are excited. Mr. Dash has announced the punctuation beee for Friday. Elsie, an exclamation point, has already claimed victory! Quentin (question mark) and Penny (period) will not be deterred. They practice making sentences with their respective punctuation mark. With just one question to go, Quentin, Penny and Elsie are tied. Can Penny do it? Or will Elsie take it all again! This is an illustrated story to help children learn about the role punctuation plays in communication.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, learning to read, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Age of Child: Read with an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter loved this book and liked pointing to how the various marks were used within the sentences. She figured out the final score just as I was starting to read the next page.

Adult Reader Reaction: What a great way to help kids understand how punctuation works. By adding multiple punctuation marks to the same word, kids can see how the pronunciation and/or meaning change. This is a WONDERFUL book that will work as a picture book and an easy reader! I'm not big on alliteration (Penny the Period) but it worked pretty well in this book.

Pros: Cute characters, a fun contest, and lots of dialogue make this a great way of teaching kids about punctuation. This is especially useful for kids who are visual learners.

Cons: None really.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a handy book to read with young elementary-aged children as they are learning to write. As they get to second grade, it will be a nice reinforcement for them that they can read themselves.

If You Liked This Book, Try: HANDS-ON ENGLISH   LET'S GET READY FOR FIRST GRADE!   THE VOWEL FAMILY: A TALE OF LOST LETTERS

Educational Themes: The premise of the story - taking a word and constructing a sentence or question in different ways - is something you could recreate at home or in school. It could be fun way to practice sight words, too.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub at KidLitCon09. This is an unsolicited donation.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, grammar, language, easy reader

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2010

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