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Exclamation Mark
     

Exclamation Mark

5.0 4
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
 

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From the bestselling creators of Duck! Rabbit!, an exciting tale of self-discovery!

He stood out here.

He stood out there.

He tried everything to be more like them.

It's not easy being seen. Especially when you're NOT like everyone else. Especially when what sets you apart is YOU.

Sometimes we squish ourselves to fit in. We shrink. Twist. Bend. Until --

Overview


From the bestselling creators of Duck! Rabbit!, an exciting tale of self-discovery!

He stood out here.

He stood out there.

He tried everything to be more like them.

It's not easy being seen. Especially when you're NOT like everyone else. Especially when what sets you apart is YOU.

Sometimes we squish ourselves to fit in. We shrink. Twist. Bend. Until -- ! -- a friend shows the way to endless possibilities.

In this bold and highly visual book, an emphatic but misplaced exclamation point learns that being different can be very exciting! Period.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Michael Ian Black
This slight story is an amusing and effective exploration of the "ugly duckling" premise…the energetic graphic illustrations kept me smiling and turning the pages.
Publishers Weekly
Rosenthal and Lichtenheld (the team behind Duck! Rabbit! and other titles) give punctuation personalities in this witty calligraphic jaunt. Against a background of lined penmanship paper, an exclamation mark realizes he differs from his neighbors, a neat row of periods. Like them, he consists of a smiley face drawn in swooshes of expressive black ink, but above his head stands a resolute vertical dash. He twists and curls his topper to no avail, until—“Hello? Who are you?”—an inquisitive question mark appears. Bothered by the newcomer’s incessant queries (“When’s your birthday? Know any good jokes?”), the hero bellows a spread-shaking “Stop!” and discovers his talent for assertions, from “Hi!” to “Wow!” and “Look what I can do!” Thanks to savvy design, the exclamation mark’s announcements are printed in different sizes and colors to subtly indicate emphasis and tone, yet the mark never meets others like himself and therefore never suffers from overuse. With a restraint that’s more declaratory than exclamatory, Rosenthal and Lichtenheld cleverly raise awareness of the ways punctuation conveys mood. Ages 4–8. Agent: Amy Rennert, the Amy Rennert Agency, (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"From the dynamic team that brought you Duck! Rabbit! (2009) comes this introduction to the most exuberant punctuation mark of all: the exclamation point. At first, !, a round circle with a face, doesn’t like standing out in a crowd; in a line-up of seven smiling faces, which look like period marks, he’s the only one with a line above his head. ! tries clever ways to fit in (flipping himself upside down, thereby squashing his tail) and even thinks about running away, until he meets a formidable force: the question mark. After a barrage of questions from ? (“Do you like frogs? Can you hula-hoop?”), ! finds his voice and tells him to “STOP!” From there, !’s confidence begins to grow and, soon, there’s no stopping his unbridled joy. The spare, clever illustrations—all round, black-outlined punctuation marks with faces—are set on thick lined-paper, the kind kindergarteners use, and the overall design effect is lovely. The text is similarly simple, but a change in the size and color of the font signifies important moments. With the
celebrating-your-strengths angle, fun grammar lesson, and many classroom tie-in possibilities, this picture book deserves a !!!."
— Ann Kelley, Booklist starred review

"Punctuation with pizzazz.

How does an exclamation mark learn his purpose? Pre-readers and readers alike will giggle and cheer to see the process. The setting is a warm yellowish beige background with a faint pulpy pattern and repeating horizontal lines with dotted lines halfway between them—penmanship paper. Each bold, black punctuation mark has a minimalist yet expressive face inside its circular dot. “He stood out,” explains the first page, as the titular protagonist looks on doubtfully. He tries hanging around with periods, but squishing his extension down into a spring doesn’t really work; even prostrate, “he just wasn’t like everyone else. Period.” (Hee! Rosenthal gleefully puns instead of naming any punctuation.) Mournful, “confused, flummoxed, and deflated,” the exclamation mark’s line tangles and flops. Then someone unexpected arrives. “Hello? Who are you?” queries the newbie, jovially pummeling the exclamation mark with 17 manic inquiries at once. “Stop!” screams the exclamation mark in enormous, bumpy-edged letters—and there’s his identity! The outburst’s anxious vibe dissipates immediately (and the question mark is undaunted by being yelled at). Finally, the protagonist has “[broken] free from a life sentence.” Snapping up usages that match his newfound personality, he zooms back to show the other punctuation marks. The zippy relationship between exclamation mark and question mark continues beyond the acknowledgements page." - Kirkus starred review

 
"Through a perfect pairing of clever design and tongue-in-cheek humor, Rosenthal and Lichtenheld effectively demonstrate the function of the exclamation mark (as well as the period and question mark) in this tale about a depressed punctuation mark that just doesn’t fit in. On an unadorned backdrop of lined paper, several periods and one exclamation mark are lined up in a row. Clearly, he stands out in a crowd. Like Elmer in David McKee’s classic tale, the exclamation mark struggles with his difference and tries to blend in. When the downcast punctuation meets a question mark who overwhelms him with inquiries, our hero finally finds his voice and tells the other to “Stop!” From there, he builds his confidence in making declarative statements and leaves the group “to make his mark.” Rosenthal shines in her play on words (“It was like he broke free from a life sentence”). Lichtenheld’s minimalist style is deceivingly simple; a curlicue or crumpled line, combined with an amazingly impressive circle with eyes and a mouth, is all that’s needed to convey emotion when the exclamation mark is “confused, flummoxed, and deflated.” This fun-to-read tale will find a ready home in language-arts lessons, reminding burgeoning elementary-age writers which punctuation personality belongs in which type of sentencewithout the tedium that accompanies traditional grammar lessons. This one is a must-have!!! School Library Journal starred review (Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, Farmington Hills, MI)

Children's Literature - Susan Treadway
In this inventive tale about one of the most unique punctuation marks, preschoolers find a personal connection in a simple discovery of one's purpose and role in life while celebrating the uncertain process as well as an excellent result. Very basic facial expressions carry the story of exploration as varying sizes and colors of fonts offer sentimental emotional outbursts. Little ones are caught up in the crescendo of an adventure which seems to have an unpredictable ending. One page in particular asks multiple questions that come to a little boy or girl's mind covering a variety of topics. As the exclamation mark finds his way through the tricky maze, youngsters also realize this is their story. Older students recognize personal lives as a bit of a journey as well as during an earlier time. Language connections are made clearly while intangibles surface a bit less so obviously; and yet as an engaging read aloud, audiences find a welcome new personality who is very much like them in many ways. Distinct? Oh, Yes. Celebrations galore? You bet! Reviewer: Susan Treadway
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Our exclamation point hero stands out everywhere. He tries to be like the other simple periods, but he can't. Then one day a question mark appears, asking question after question until the exclamation point screams, "STOP!" The question mark wants to know how he did that. Our hero tries to build up, beginning with a small, "Hi!" He moves up to "Wow!" and other great exclamations. Then he runs off to show the other "guys" what he can do. They all agree that he is really something. "So with his head held high, he went off...to make his mark." The story is told on off-white notebook pages with the simplest of faces on the circle periods sitting on the blue lines, "...rendered in ink and other exciting materials." A casual black circle with dots for eyes and a swish for a mouth serves as the face for both the periods and the protagonist, but he carries the long vertical line that has made him different. When questioned to exhaustion by the question mark, his scream is visualized in boldly nervous letters that fill the double page. His further self tests produce words in different colors and sizes. The period chorus shows its approval with triangle mouths. It's all light-hearted fun. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—Through a perfect pairing of clever design and tongue-in-cheek humor, Rosenthal and Lichtenheld effectively demonstrate the function of the exclamation mark (as well as the period and question mark) in this tale about a depressed punctuation mark that just doesn't fit in. On an unadorned backdrop of lined paper, several periods and one exclamation mark are lined up in a row. Clearly, he stands out in a crowd. Like Elmer in David McKee's classic tale, the exclamation mark struggles with his difference and tries to blend in. When the downcast punctuation meets a question mark who overwhelms him with inquiries, our hero finally finds his voice and tells the other to "Stop!" From there, he builds his confidence in making declarative statements and leaves the group "to make his mark." Rosenthal shines in her play on words ("It was like he broke free from a life sentence"). Lichtenheld's minimalist style is deceivingly simple; a curlicue or crumpled line, combined with an amazingly impressive circle with eyes and a mouth, is all that's needed to convey emotion when the exclamation mark is "confused, flummoxed, and deflated." This fun-to-read tale will find a ready home in language-arts lessons, reminding burgeoning elementary-age writers which punctuation personality belongs in which type of sentence-without the tedium that accompanies traditional grammar lessons. This one is a must-have!!!—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, Farmington Hills, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Punctuation with pizzazz. How does an exclamation mark learn his purpose? Pre-readers and readers alike will giggle and cheer to see the process. The setting is a warm yellowish beige background with a faint pulpy pattern and repeating horizontal lines with dotted lines halfway between them--penmanship paper. Each bold, black punctuation mark has a minimalist yet expressive face inside its circular dot. "He stood out," explains the first page, as the titular protagonist looks on doubtfully. He tries hanging around with periods, but squishing his extension down into a spring doesn't really work; even prostrate, "he just wasn't like everyone else. Period." (Hee! Rosenthal gleefully puns instead of naming any punctuation.) Mournful, "confused, flummoxed, and deflated," the exclamation mark's line tangles and flops. Then someone unexpected arrives. "Hello? Who are you?" queries the newbie, jovially pummeling the exclamation mark with 17 manic inquiries at once. "Stop!" screams the exclamation mark in enormous, bumpy-edged letters--and there's his identity! The outburst's anxious vibe dissipates immediately (and the question mark is undaunted by being yelled at). Finally, the protagonist has "[broken] free from a life sentence." Snapping up usages that match his newfound personality, he zooms back to show the other punctuation marks. The zippy relationship between exclamation mark and question mark continues beyond the acknowledgements page. Funny and spirited (and secretly educational, but nobody will notice). (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545436793
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Pages:
56
Sales rank:
641
Product dimensions:
7.36(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.45(d)
Lexile:
90L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Meet the Author


Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld are the creators of many books for children. Their hugely popular DUCK! RABBIT! was named one of the best books of the year by Time Magazine and Publishers Weekly. Amy is the author of PLANT A KISS, a New York Times Bestseller, illustrated by Peter Reynolds. Tom's GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE, written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. Please visit www.whoisamy.com and www.tomlichtenheld.com. Both live in Chicago.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld are the creators of many books for children. Their hugely popular DUCK! RABBIT! was named one of the best books of the year by Time Magazine and Publishers Weekly. Amy is the author of PLANT A KISS, a New York Times Bestseller, illustrated by Peter Reynolds. Tom's GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE, written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. Please visit www.whoisamy.com and www.tomlichtenheld.com. Both live in Chicago.

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Exclamation Mark 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
lovingthebooks More than 1 year ago
If you follow me...you will notice that I like to use a lot of CAPS and a lot of exclamation marks! So...when I saw the cover of this cute, cute book I just HAD to read it! It is so wonderful! Cutest illustrations! So simple, yet so profound! A story of not feeling like you fit in... But then finding someone else a little bit like you... Then, with their help, finding your place as the unique person you are... And then taking off to make your mark in the world!
Swoops More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book and a little funny. I read this for about 3 times and it is still a cool book. I like the part when the exclamation mark screams out a lot of words
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. I am a librarian at a K-8 school. I have read it to them all and they all loved it! Teachers too!
Kathae More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book!!!!!!! It is about an exclamation mark that doesn't fit in with all the periods, until he meets a question mark and finally finds his voice. The illustrations, layout, and text all work together to make a delightful, laugh-out-loud book. It's genius. Although the text is simple, it will be most appreciated by children (and adults) who have actually learned what the punctuation marks mean. !!!!!