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WORDPLAY by Adam Lehrhaupt


by Adam Lehrhaupt ; illustrated by Jared Chapman

Pub Date: July 25th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-545-93428-2
Publisher: Scholastic

The five most common parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and interjection) frolic on the playground for a day of grammar exploration.

Red Verb starts things off, climbing, sliding, and twirling. Next, blue Noun appears. Noun becomes a person (King Tut), a place (an amusement park or perhaps just a roller coaster), or thing (a menacing dinosaur), though why Noun keeps transforming is not clear. Interjection, Adjective, and Adverb act as peanut gallery. Verb reacts aggressively to Noun, though why their relationship seems to be fraught is never explained nor understood. Once a bee enters the scene, Verb springs into action, first running and hiding, then helping Noun, who is stuck (why this is so is also never made clear). Soon Noun becomes the best thing a noun can ever be: a friend. Fully saturated digital illustrations brimming with energy and excitement are certain to make young readers smile at the antics of all the characters, even if it is not always exactly clear what they are up to. The characters’ T-shirts are labeled with their initials, but even that is a bit fuzzy. The orange child is labeled ADV and the chartreuse one sports an ADJ shirt, but both are actually nouns talking about being adverbs and adjectives.

The parts of speech are devilish to explain to young children, and this volume does little to clear up any confusion.

(Picture book. 4-9)