Only Carol Diggory Shields could reduce a whole body of knowledge to forty incisive, hilarious, and all-encompassing poems! In this newest addition to the BrainJuice series, Carol Diggory Shields undertakes to impart all the really important facets of the English language -- and impart she does! Do you want the last word on punctuation? Spelling? Diagramming a sentence? Drafting a letter, keeping a journal, writing poetry? No aspect of English is left unexamined, and both ...
Only Carol Diggory Shields could reduce a whole body of knowledge to forty incisive, hilarious, and all-encompassing poems!
In this newest addition to the BrainJuice series, Carol Diggory Shields undertakes to impart all the really important facets of the English language -- and impart she does! Do you want the last word on punctuation? Spelling? Diagramming a sentence? Drafting a letter, keeping a journal, writing poetry? No aspect of English is left unexamined, and both students and teachers will not only find BrainJuice: English extremely cool, but they will be forever grateful to the author for supplying them with "36 Ways to Say Cool" (see sample below*).
Supporting the author's heroic efforts to make English funny, comprehensible and comprehensive, as well as irresistible, Tony Ross offers art that is funny, comprehensible, comprehensive, and extremely irresistible!
*A small sampling from "36 Way to Say Cool": Groovy, great, the cat's meow, awesome, chill, phat, wow, marvy, dandy, swell, divine, nifty, peachy-keen, fine!
Readers learn more through verse with Brainjuice: English Fresh Squeezed!, the third title by Carol Diggory Shields, illus. by Tony Ross. The 40 poems here are not only clever, they double as mnemonic devices (as with "Living and Breathing": "Adjectives can be short and fat,/ Warm and cuddly as Grandma's cat"). Quotes from esteemed writers flash across the spreads in a band of blue, and charming pen-and-inks dot the pages. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Following her American History, Fresh Squeezed! (2002) and Science, Fresh Squeezed! (2003, both Handprint), Shields presents humorous poems both celebrating and bemoaning parts of speech, grammatical rules, and other annoyances of English class. Her rhyming verse is generally snappy and pointed, as in "Verbless" ("So if conjugation should give you a pain,/You'll notice you even need verbs to complain") or "Sentence Romance" ("They added a conjunction, and when the time was ripe,/They had a little clause, of the independent type"). The clever wordplay extends to more complex jokes, as in "How Many Homonyms?" ("When he ate eight pairs of pears,/My dear deer grew quite sickly,/But the doc by the dock, his herd had heard,/Could cure him pretty quickly") or "Punctuation Promenade" ("Apostrophe kept contracting,/`Let's run, let's jump, let's hop.'/At the end of every sentence,/Period, of course, had to stop"). Ross's spot illustrations in black and white with a blue tone add visual amusement without overwhelming. Designed to look like a small grammar guide, this volume won't help anyone who minds "learning the facts" as Shields suggests, but it's plenty of fun for the smart aleck who appreciates a dig at English class.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The third in the BrainJuice series, this offering seeks to convey the parts of speech, grammatical rules and the principles of composition in 40 poems. It's an interesting notion: As the prefatory note to her English teacher indicates, even avid readers frequently find the rules of the language downright painful, so why not render them into funny verse. The answer might possibly be that this verse is so light (approaching helium) that it's hard to take seriously the very weighty concepts borne therein. Careful reading will reveal that there's a lot of worthwhile information-the pair of poems on similes and metaphors lead one to the other nicely, and the poem on verb tense explains the past and future perfect extraordinarily well. But the verse itself is that lockstep rhyming doggerel that so crowds the universe of children's poetry and is consequently all too easy to dismiss. Shields introduces topics at the top of the page by appropriate quotes from such sources as Twain, Shaw and The Chicago Manual of Style, but these luminaries are not exploited to their full capacity as companions to the primary content. There's just not enough pulp in the glass. (Poetry. 9-12)
Carol Diggory Shields is a poet, a humorist, and a librarian -- the perfect qualifications for reducing immense bodies of knowledge into a very few lines of extremely funny verse. Grateful teachers and students can direct fan letters to her in Salinas, Cal
Tony Ross is the internationally renowned artist and author of more than 100 books, including I Want My Potty, Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, and The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark. He lives in Cheshire, England with his wife Zoe and daughter, Kate.