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Children's LiteratureA "Words Are Categorical" book, this title offers the young learner an entertaining grammar lesson on two not-so-simple concepts. Homonyms, or words that are spelled the same and pronounced the same but that have different meanings, are demonstrated in humorous rhymes with amusing illustrations. An example is: "A light may be light,/like a small paper kite./A trunk can be found/in a trunk." The highlighted words are illustrated in a circus scene where a hefty cat lifts a big spotlight in one arm and holds the string to a kite in the other, while a mother elephant discovers her baby (with trunk) in a trunk. And so the little vignettes continue with word games like "punch [the drink] cannot punch" and a "bowl cannot bowl." Homophones, or words that sound alike but are spelled differently and mean different things, are explained in a similar manner. Examples are: "A Sioux might not Sue/if he knew/that the gnu that he bought/wasn't new like you said." The illustration shows an Indian cat with contract, cat judge, and old gnu in tow. The cats angrily stand before the gnu salesman. And so the book continues with many such plays on words to coach the reader into understanding homonyms and homophones. Kids and adults alike should enjoy reading this one aloud and discovering the fun of grammar. 2005, Millbrook Press/Lerner Publishing Group, and Ages 7 to 9.
—Carol Raker Collins, Ph.D.