Punctuation Takes a Vacation

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After days of teaching about commas, periods and question marks, a teacher suggests to his class, "Let's give punctuation a vacation" and the punctuation marks literally head off for a holiday. PW called this an "entertaining tale-cum-grammar lesson." Ages 5-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
How better to understand and appreciate the role and importance of punctuation than to see what happens when it is absent? After Mr. Wright gives the punctuation marks in his classroom a vacation, the class begins to see how difficult it is to make sense of what they read without them. Meanwhile, each punctuation mark, vacationing on "Take-a-Break Lake," sends a postcard cleverly written to demonstrate its distinctive usage. The class, unable to reply without punctuation, borrows some marks from the class next door. But these are "running wild," with equally wild results. The class's plea for their marks to return is finally answered, with happy results. Reed's child-like, opaquely painted acrylic characters have real individual personalities. They are both funny and attractive in the minimal scenery all painted with little detail on textured canvas. The marks add humor as they keep their proper shapes, even dressed in bathing suits enjoying beach activities. This light-hearted fun includes a list of punctuation rules at the end of the sugarcoated lesson. Students can be challenged to try to read selections without punctuation, and to make up their own imaginary postcards for the different marks. 2003, Holiday House,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Robin Pulver's clever picture book (Holiday House, 2003), illustrated with Lynn Rowe Reed's vibrant, child-like acrylic paintings, shows youngsters exactly what would happen if there were no punctuation marks. Mr. Wright's class discovers the value of punctuation and just how difficult life can be without the little fellows. Feeling distinctly unappreciated, the commas, question marks, periods, and apostrophes take a well-deserved vacation to Take-a-Break Lake, leaving the school in big trouble. Mr. Wright and his charges find that "Nothing makes sense without punctuation." The punctuation marks finally return, and the book ends with a list of punctuation rules. John Beach narrates in a gleeful, ebullient tone. Chris Kubie composed the sprightly music. This is that rare audiobook that truly makes the print version come alive. The sound effects alone are priceless, with homage to Grammy Award-winner Bobby McFerrin. If you've ever wondered what punctuation marks sound like, Beach provides hilarious voices and sound effects for each one. A masterful, creative, amusing, must-have production that simplifies the rules of punctuation.—Lonna Pierce, MacArthur Elementary School, Binghamton, NY
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-When the hardworking punctuation marks in Mr. Wright's classroom go off on a holiday, the students soon find that life is chaotic without them. A fun-filled gambol through grammar, punctuated by zany acrylic paintings. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a delightfully clever outing, a well-earned vacation results in chaos back in school when the punctuation marks head to Take-A-Break Lake. Mr. Wright's class uses and abuses punctuation marks, without ever really giving them a thought and the marks put up with it all. But when Mr. Wright needs relief from teaching on a hot day and says, "Let's give punctuation a vacation," they discuss the matter (each mark uttering a sentence needing its own kind of punctuation, of course), and decide they should take a trip to prove to the kids just how needed they are. As the students struggle to understand anything in their classroom, each mark writes a postcard to the class showing off his or her special skills in punctuating sentences. The students finally borrow some mixed-up punctuation from the class next door and write to the vacationers begging them to return and promising that they will never be taken for granted again. Pulver (Way to Go, Alex, not reviewed, etc.) has outdone herself in this ingenious take on learning. Everything from the punctuation marks' postcards to the endpapers emphasizes the importance of punctuation in our everyday lives. Reed's (The Halloween Showdown, 1998, etc.) whimsical, child-like paintings put faces on each character, bringing them further to life as they cavort on the shores of the lake. What a fun way to teach; every language arts teacher needs this to punctuate their instruction, no matter the grade level. (Fiction. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823418206
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 52,142
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.02 (w) x 9.86 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2005

    Engaging approach makes learning fun

    Where would we be without punctuation? And how can teachers and parents impress its importance upon young children? Fortunately, author Robin Pulver has a light-hearted, kid-friendly solution. The book's clever storyline has a classroom teacher banishing punctuation for the day, only to have the feisty marks deciding to go on vacation. Result: the class can't write anything intelligible and begs for the errant marks to return. Young readers will learn that punctuation is there to help. Great illustrations, great fun. Considering how many students reach high school without clearly understanding the rules of punctuation, it's wonderful to have a book that catches children when they're young. Kudos to Robin Pulver and Lynn Rowe Reed for this terrific book! Readers who enjoy 'Punctuation' may also enjoy another quality picture book entitled Ruby Lee The Bumble Bee: A Bee's Bit of Wisdom .

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    Posted May 24, 2013

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