Thursday, October 16, 2008

Penny and the Punctuation Bee

I found the cutest picture book today in the new book section of the library -- Penny and the Punctuation Bee by Moira Rose Donahue. If you're a fan of the Eats, Shoots, and Leaves books by Lynne Truss (her latest was Twenty-Odd Ducks), then this is a book you will probably enjoy, as well.

Penny is a period whose best friend is Quentin, a question mark. Penny is part of the safety patrol because she is good at stopping. We also meet Connie, a comma, and Elsie, an exclamation point in the story. Not surprisingly, they all speak in sentences that contain their punctuation mark.

The drama starts when a sign appears announcing a Punctuation Bee, Friday at 2:00. All the characters sign up to participate, and then begin their training for the Bee. The day of the bee, we also meet Collin, a colon; Stella, an asterik; and the quotation mark twins, Quinn and Lynn. And the contest is on!!! There is even a scoreboard keeping track of everyone's progress.

Penny and the Punctuation Bee is lots of fun, and its use in the classroom could range from first to fifth grade. It's probably geared toward the younger students, but, in my experience, even 5th graders enjoy, and learn from, books like these.

Fun story line, great play on words with the punctuation names, likable characters, and good sentences modeled with each punctuation mark make Penny and the Punctuation Bee a book I need to add to my "Fun with Language" tub!!!

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