Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Book Love: Word Play

Who knew grammar could be so giggle inducing? Check out these books where the punch lines are based on clever word play and kids beginning to learn sentence structure and patterns will delight in watching grammar go very wrong.

I Yam a Donkey by Cece Bell

Cece Bell is on a roll. Her graphic novel, El Deafo, is winning hearts and awards, like her recent Newberry Honor and Eisner for Best Publication for Kids. Still celebrating those wins, Bell gives us the picture book I Yam a Donkey, a super quirky book featuring both a yam and a donkey. Don’t let the strangeness fool you. There’s actually a grammar lesson to be learned here with Yam trying to fix Donkey’s misguided grammar of saying “I Yam or “You is.” Other vegetables join in the grammar class, teaching Donkey and the reader the classic “I am, you are, he is” lesson which leads to a very hilarious (and inevitable conclusion) that doesn’t bode well for our veggie friends. The ending will either leave your kids delighted or confounded, but it’s a funny read that can easily be used to help kids understand proper speech patterns. "Is you" ready to read this book? Find it HERE

Fowl Play by Travis Nichols 
Who smashed Mr. Hound’s store window? The Gumshoe Zoo detective agency is on the case! This case is full of “monkey business,” says one detective who then quickly and profusely apologizes to his monkey friend standing nearby, fearing he had insulted him. This case is full of idioms, phrases that have both a figurative and literal meaning. As each animal detective find a new clue, he also finds another animal related idiom. Kids will catch on to this pattern quickly and find it hilarious. Parents can extend this lesson by helping kids come up with other idioms they encounter while reading or watching TV. In fact, Nichols sets the story as a paneled comic book reminiscent of his work found in Nickelodeon magazine, so the book itself feels exactly like its ready and raring to leap off the page and onto the small screen. Ready to crack the case? Click HERE.  

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