With wonderful pictures and well-worded descriptions, this picture book will be an excellent supplement to grade-school...

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Parts of Speech Parade

NEW YORK CITY

Dolinskiy’s debut picture book explains parts of speech in rhyming text accompanied by Adams’ phenomenal illustrations.

Nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections all appear in this rhyming text. Images accompanying the parade feature a racially diverse assortment of New Yorkers: children, adults, and animals of all shapes and sizes appear in clearly recognizable locations, beginning with the Statue of Liberty and traveling through places that include Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, and Central Park. Dolinskiy opens the text with nouns: “I’m a person, place, or thing. / In a sentence, I am king.” Verbs come next: “I build, I work, I dance, I sing. / I’m an action, event, or state of being.” These two parts of speech work best in Dolinskiy’s rhyming couplet format, in part because the text examples are clear. As the picture book progresses, however, the definitions for each part of speech remain strong, but the examples are less clear. Only one adjective appears in the adjective couplets, for example, and its placement comes at the end of a sentence rather than adjacent to a noun. No prepositions appear in the preposition section. Still, the rhyming text will help grade schoolers remember the role of each part of speech, even if examples aren’t immediately present. It does, however, mean that this picture book is an excellent tool to support classroom lessons rather than providing a full lesson on its own. While children might not instantly gravitate toward a book on the parts of speech, the images here are the biggest draw: students from many walks of life are sure to find themselves among the illustrations, and details—sewer workers revealed below the sidewalk; a popped balloon helping to show “interjection”—make revisiting each image a treat. More examples and a section on applying these lessons would turn this book into a top-notch educational treat.

With wonderful pictures and well-worded descriptions, this picture book will be an excellent supplement to grade-school lessons on grammar.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Mark Wayne Adams, Inc.

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2015

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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