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Posted April 11, 2004
¿Calling All Animals- The First Book of PunOETRY¿, is an innovative children¿s book from author Jeff Nathan and illustrator Liz Ball. It is a wonderful attempt to show youngsters how enjoyable the English language can be. The use of puns mixed in with the poetry, displays the multiple meanings and spellings of words. Literacy is an important skill that is not as widespread as it should be. Children today, through advances in technology, have access to all areas of knowledge. This also has one major drawback, a downturn in the quality of children¿s literacy skills. To get children to participate fully in their education it needs to be fun. Having fun allows young minds to explore their learning experience to the fullest. ¿Calling All Animals ¿ The First Book of PunOETRY¿, allows them to do this. My three favorite punoems in the book are: Animal Food ¿ (page 8), dealing with cattage cheese, mice cream and macrowni, Sister Cat ¿ (page 38), tells of hisstory and purrpose and Raining Cats and Dogs ¿ (page 46), which deals with Poodles on the ground and the barometric Cheshire heading down. Each one has a great variety of puns and different spellings, highlighted in bold letters. The correct spellings are placed in parentheses on the right hand side of the page. Each punoems has a delightful illustration that comes with a unique twist. The twist is twofold; each illustration has two additional characters in it. One is named Chucklebug, a happy little flying insect, who hovers around the main character. The other is called Chuckleslug, a slug who likes to play hide and seek. What the young reader must do is locate where Chuckleslug is hiding in all the illustrations. This enhances the fun and keeps the interest level high. What Jeff Nathan and Liz Ball have created is a new approach to literacy. The rhythm of the punoems is matched by the illustrations. They show in finite terms that the study of language can be fun. All too often education takes the approach that learning to read and write is a chore that must be endured. This reflects in their teaching and turns off those recipients who need to master these essential skills. Children need to enjoy their education, not have facts and rules crammed into them. Joy in learning leads to self-development that may not otherwise have occurred. ¿Calling All Animals ¿ The First Book of PunOETRY¿, allows children to seek out the joys of literacy for themselves. It is an experience they will always remember and forever reap the rewards. This is one book that is destined to change children¿s literacy for the better. It is a book that I highly recommend to parents and teachers alike.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.