From the Publisher
Will young readers enjoy this Period of learning? You bet!
Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
Penny is a punctuation mark with attitudea 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
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)