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.