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Penny and the Punctuation Bee

Penny and the Punctuation Bee

5.0 4
by Moira Rose Donohue

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Elsie, an exclamation point, announces loudly that she’s sure she’ll win the school Punctuation Bee. After all, an exclamation point has won the last three years. But Penny, a period, and her friend, Quentin, a question mark, decide to practice and practice. More than anything, Penny wants to beat Elsie, who brags way too much!
The bee


Elsie, an exclamation point, announces loudly that she’s sure she’ll win the school Punctuation Bee. After all, an exclamation point has won the last three years. But Penny, a period, and her friend, Quentin, a question mark, decide to practice and practice. More than anything, Penny wants to beat Elsie, who brags way too much!
The bee begins and one by one, the punctuation marks drop out. Finally, as the loudspeaker announces the end of the school day, only Quentin, Penny, and Elsie remain. It looks like a three-way tie. Then Quentin asks an important question that saves the day—for Penny!
Moira Donohue, author of Alfie the Apostrophe, again makes punctuation fun in this up-close look at the important mark that stops everything—the period. Jenny Law’s lively illustrations add just the right touch.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
Penny is a punctuation mark with attitude—a delightful, spunky, can-do attitude. When faced with a school competition, a punctuation bee, Penny the period and her friend Quentin the question mark practice together to try wrestle the championship from the stuck-up exclamation point. Donohue has given these punctuation marks such distinct personalities that it is easy for children to understand their functions. Quentin speaks in strings of hyper questions, Penny is matter-of-fact, Connie the comma talks in lists, separated by commas, of course, and Elsie the exclamation point is perkily pesky. The fun repartee and age-appropriate characters will capture the attention of children and amply demonstrate when to use which kind of punctuation mark. Full of laugh-out-loud double entendres, just like in Donohue's Alfie the Apostrophe, this book can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, a definite plus for parents and teachers who will probably be asked to read it over and over. The bright, colorful, yet endearing illustrations imbue the punctuation marks with even more personality, and it is heartening to see that the characters come in all sizes and colors, especially the very round Penny. The book is complete with fireworks at the end, making learning punctuation a blast. A must for school, library, and home. Reviewer: Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3- Penny, a period, and her friend Quentin, a question mark, are excited about the upcoming Punctuation Bee. Elsie, a brash and confident exclamation mark, points out that an exclamation mark has been victorious for the past three years, making Penny even more determined to win. Predictably, she takes the lead as the bell rings to end the competition. Savvy students of grammar will note logical flaws in the story. Connie the comma and Penny the period are awarded extra points for using their punctuation marks multiple times within a sentence, though other contestants could never receive more than one point. Penny's winning point is awarded erroneously; though she recites her sentence aloud, she is given a point for the written abbreviation of the word "Mister." While a few useful lessons can be found in the text, these examples are lost within the busy page design. Law's enthusiastically colorful, simplistic punctuation people do little to save Donohue's mediocre story. For a more compelling punctuation tale, try Jan Carr's Greedy Apostrophe (Holiday House, 2007).-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
Donohue follows up Alfie the Apostrophe (2006), illustrared by JoAnn Adinolfi, with another parade of animate punctuation-featuring this time a Period, a Question Mark and an obnoxious Exclamation Point! Round Penny and her slouching friend Quentin vow to beat bouncy Elsie by creating more sentences correctly in their school's upcoming bee. One by one other contestants like Collin the Colon are eliminated until, after a hard-fought contest, Penny scores the tiebreaker with an extra-credit statement using not one but two periods: "Mr. Dash is my teacher." Carping critics may note that under these rules the contest would always be a walkaway for the Comma-but never mind. Wielding broad brushes filled with what looks like poster paint, Law fashions a bright world populated by colorful, easily recognizable punctuation of all sorts. Will young readers enjoy this Period of learning? You bet! For children (or, for that matter, parents) who are still hazy on the uses of the three marks, the author discusses types of sentences in an explanatory afterword. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

Whitman, Albert & Company
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Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
15 MB
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Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Moira Rose Donohue is a reformed lawyer who secretly loves grammar and punctuation. She also loves tap dancing, her husband and two children, and her dog, Sniffles. Moira lives in northern Virginia.
Jenny Law is a graphic designer and illustrator who lives in London with her family. 

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Penny and the Punctuation Bee 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
MadgeVA More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of any sort of learning you can do that doesn't require rote memorization or the use of a club. I'll use Schoolhouse Rock as my shining example, where you're singing so loudly about interjections that you don't even realize you've just learned that they're "generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point, or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong." "Penny and the Punctuation Bee" is a book in that vain. Your kids will get caught up in Moira Donohue's story, colorfully illustrated by Jenny (rhymes with Penny) Law. (Will Penny win the Punctuation Bee? Or will she be beaten out by the perky cheerleader, Elsie? Will Quentin ever stop asking questions? And doesn't Mr. Dash look groovy in his fancy new bow tie?) The fact that your kids will also learn something while they read this book is pure gravy. (Or, as Elsie would say: Gravy!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Donohue follows Alfie the Apostrophe with another romp through the world of animate punctuation marks. This book focuses on final punctuation marks and Penny the star of the book is a dazzling, fun, wonderful, and makes learning about punctuation an adventure. As an adult who has trouble with punctuation and grammar, I am a huge fan of Donohue's books and I can actually use it to learn from too. But the real value of this book is that it will intrigue and entertain children as they learn about punctuation
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Bright,' 'cheerful' and 'encouraging' all describe Donohue's most recent punctuation lesson in 'Penny and the Punctuation Bee.' Once again Donohue has struck the fine chord between instructional and fun. Penny and her friends help youngsters learn in the positive way the correct use of marks that end our sentences as well as serve other uses in helping us to communicate clearly with one another. She rejects the approach found today in some pockets of teaching and writing that tend to teach the mistake. Other books focus on the errors of misuse. This only confuses youngsters who are still learning the basics. Read Penny and see how it is done right the first time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Book was enjoyable as well as educational..I read it to my class.....Kids loved it !!! they wrote to mrs. Dononhue... And now she is coming to our school....