EXCLAMATION MARK by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Kirkus Star

EXCLAMATION MARK

Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Punctuation with pizzazz.

How does an exclamation mark learn his purpose? Pre-readers and readers alike will giggle and cheer to see the process. The setting is a warm yellowish beige background with a faint pulpy pattern and repeating horizontal lines with dotted lines halfway between them—penmanship paper. Each bold, black punctuation mark has a minimalist yet expressive face inside its circular dot. “He stood out,” explains the first page, as the titular protagonist looks on doubtfully. He tries hanging around with periods, but squishing his extension down into a spring doesn’t really work; even prostrate, “he just wasn’t like everyone else. Period.” (Hee! Rosenthal gleefully puns instead of naming any punctuation.) Mournful, “confused, flummoxed, and deflated,” the exclamation mark’s line tangles and flops. Then someone unexpected arrives. “Hello? Who are you?” queries the newbie, jovially pummeling the exclamation mark with 17 manic inquiries at once. “Stop!” screams the exclamation mark in enormous, bumpy-edged letters—and there’s his identity! The outburst’s anxious vibe dissipates immediately (and the question mark is undaunted by being yelled at). Finally, the protagonist has “[broken] free from a life sentence.” Snapping up usages that match his newfound personality, he zooms back to show the other punctuation marks. The zippy relationship between exclamation mark and question mark continues beyond the acknowledgements page.

Funny and spirited (and secretly educational, but nobody will notice). (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-43679-3
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2013




BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2013 TO TAKE YOU OUTSIDE THE BOX:

ChildrenA SPLASH OF RED by Jen Bryant
by Jen Bryant
ChildrenNEVER EVER by Jo Empson
by Jo Empson
ChildrenTHE STORY OF FISH AND SNAIL by Deborah Freedman
by Deborah Freedman

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for DRY BONES
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE ISLE OF THE LOST
VERDICT:
SKIP IT

MORE BY AMY KROUSE ROSENTHAL

ChildrenFRIENDSHAPE by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
ChildrenLITTLE MISS, BIG SIS by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
ChildrenI WISH YOU MORE by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

MORE BY TOM LICHTENHELD

ChildrenGOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE by Sherri Duskey Rinker
by Sherri Duskey Rinker
ChildrenSING! by Joe Raposo
by Joe Raposo
ChildrenSTEAM TRAIN, DREAM TRAIN by Sherri Duskey Rinker
by Sherri Duskey Rinker

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenALFIE THE APOSTROPHE by Moira Rose Donohue
by Moira Rose Donohue
ChildrenPUNCTUATION TAKES A VACATION by Robin Pulver
by Robin Pulver
ChildrenZ IS FOR MOOSE by Kelly Bingham
by Kelly Bingham