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PERIODS SAY "STOP." by Michael Dahl


From the Word Adventures: Punctuation series

by Michael Dahl ; illustrated by Chris Garbutt

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5158-4054-1
Publisher: Picture Window Books

Dahl and Garbutt launch a punctuation series with this look at an essential mark: the period.

A period clad in a hard hat introduces readers to its job, though other periods also interject their two cents in dialogue bubbles. Dahl emphasizes the sentence-ending job of a period, devoting a few pages to its use in abbreviations. Garbutt poses the roly-poly periods, who sport stick arms and legs and expressive faces, in humorous situations. For instance, they are menaced by a threatening run-on–sentence tsunami or exhausted when a bunch of text doesn’t offer a place to stop and take a breath. The pink, purple, and blue palette gives the book a retro feel; text that is not a part of the story plays a role in providing readers with examples. Though diligent and not without a sense of fun, the book is not a total success. Small but vital details in the pictures make this difficult to share with large groups or entire classes, limiting its usefulness, and while some parts are a bit funny, it’s not likely kids will choose this on their own. Backmatter includes a summary of the period’s uses, a glossary, scant lists of resources for further information, and three critical thinking questions. Publishing simultaneously are Commas Say “Take a Break”, Exclamation Points Say “Wow!”, and Question Marks Say “What?”.

Fills the bill for small-group educational settings, but its audience is limited.

(Picture book. 5-8)