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Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier Kirkus Star

Miss Alaineus

A Vocabulary Disaster

by Debra Frasier & illustrated by Debra Frasier

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-15-202163-9
Publisher: Harcourt

Sage has the flu and receives her vocabulary list via a hurried phone call from her best friend, who spells all but the last word. Sage spells the unfamiliar word as best she can and compounds the problem by writing her own highly imaginative definition without the benefit of a dictionary. The hilarious error is discovered during a vocabulary bee and she is “devastated, ruined, finished.” The format of this enchanting book is ingenious. Words are defined within the text and as part of the colorful illustrations. Frasier (Out of the Ocean, 1998, etc.) uses pencil and markers on notebook paper to create a complete record of Sage’s vocabulary disaster and ensuing triumph. A border of sentences that Sage writes for another assignment provides a subtext that explains her emotions as the plot unfurls. There is also an addendum in the form of a “vocabulary parade Scrapbook.” Even the end papers and the flyleaf are an integral part of the book. There are delightful surprises on every page of this charmer. It is sure to be a favorite that will be read again and again. (Picture book. 6-9)