Alfie the Apostrophe

( 3 )


Alfie the Apostrophe is nervous. Can he make it into the punctuation-mark talent show? There's plenty of competition. Question marks tell riddles; exclamation points do cheerleading routines. Worse yet, the director has mistaken Alfie for a comma!

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Alfie the Apostrophe is nervous. Can he make it into the punctuation-mark talent show? There's plenty of competition. Question marks tell riddles; exclamation points do cheerleading routines. Worse yet, the director has mistaken Alfie for a comma!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Who knew punctuation could be such fun? Alfie, an apostrophe, wants to be in the punctuation-mark talent show, but how can he compete with pom-pom wielding exclamation points and jump roping parentheses? Even the director of the show, Mr. Asterisk, mistakes Alfie for a comma, and the quotation marks make fun of him. However, as the author points out, "Quotation marks were often filled with hot air." This clever book is both fun and educational. Did you know that "apostrophe" comes from the Greek word meaning "to turn away?" Alfie uses magic to turn away letters and teach us about contractions. He also shows us what can be achieved by persevering. Young children will love the colorful pictures and exuberant antics of periods, hyphens, and other dancing punctuation marks. Older children will appreciate a fun way to learn contractions (by magic!) and understand the witty double meanings in the text. Adults will enjoy being able to read this book many times and still chuckle. A must for any classroom and library and, indeed, your own bookshelf. 2006, Albert Whitman, Ages 4 up.
—Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Alfie and other quirky little figures represent the contestants in the punctuation-mark talent show: periods and hyphens, commas, asterisks, and parentheses. They all do their things, including telling jokes and riddles (question marks) and cheerleading (exclamation points). Alfie, who has butterflies about performing onstage, does magic tricks, turning two words into contractions and demonstrating the use of the possessive. He brings down the house and is declared "the show's shining star." Fanciful cartoon drawings capture the whimsy of this original, instructional story. However, children may miss some of the laughs, and, indeed, the point of the grammar lesson, if they haven't already been introduced to punctuation marks.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The lowly Apostrophe discovers that a little magic goes a long way in the Punctuation Talent Show. Little Alfie is sure that he doesn't stand a chance, especially after watching the Question Marks rap out jokes?, and the Exclamation Points bound across the stage shouting cheers! But after making one letter disappear in "can't," transforming others in "won't," and best of all, uniting a toy and Dot, a volunteer from the audience, as "Dot's doll," he becomes "the Show's shining star." Donohue confines the contending punctuation to common uses only, but tucks in some wordplay (Hiram the shy Hyphen was "probably wishing he could dash away") and Adinolfi's brightly colored figures, though bearing smiling faces, actively posed limbs and the occasional item of dress, are still instantly recognizable. Donohue earns high marks for this lively debut-pair it with Robin Pulver's Punctuation Takes a Vacation (2003, illustrated by Lynn Rowe Reed). (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807502556
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2006



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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2006

    Alfie Wins Hands Down

    This book is a must for parents and teachers who want to help kids learn about this essential punctuation mark. Alfie is both entertaining and educational. In contemplating his participation in the school talent show, Alfie reminds us all of the times we have hesitated to show our talents and 'get out in front of the crowd.' Yet from this book, the reader will learn about the rewards of self-confidence (and learn a few tips on good grammar). Stars all the way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2006

    Alfie's Magical

    Alfie the Apostrophe is a marvelously magical picture book. Alphie overcomes his shyness to show off his powers in the punctuation talent show. Young readers and writers struggling to use proper punctuation will find this light hearted approach to punctuation a delight. Their teachers will find this a fun read aloud which will suggest learning activities.

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