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Books to help your children build a robust vocabulary – Book Suggestions – 04/11/13

Posted on: Thursday, April 11th, 2013

This week’s blog was about way you can help your children build robust vocabularies.  The book suggested below are about kids who find different ways to deal with vocabulary.  Educational, amusing and very entertaining.

Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster by Debra Frasier is for kids in grades 3-6.  “This inventive picture book is a spelling book, a vocabulary book, a game book, and a costume book all rolled into one.  Sage, a fifth grader who is home sick, phones a classmate to get her homework assignment. In a big hurry, Starr spells each word out except for the last one.  Mistakenly, Sage writes what she hears, Miss Alaineus.  When she returns to school, Mrs. Page holds a Vocabulary Bee and gives her the word miscellaneous.  Her creative spelling and definition sends the class into gales of laughter, much to Sage’s dismay.  Resolution occurs 10 days later when she arrives at the Annual Vocabulary Parade dressed as “Miss Alaineus, Queen of all Miscellaneous Things.”  The student’s ability to take her mistake and remake it into a positive experience is a valuable lesson.  The text and marker illustrations are detailed and appealing, crammed full of fun ways to promote the study of the English language.  There is a hidden-word game on the endpapers, an extra credit assignment using alphabetical sentences on every page, and pictures of Sage’s Vocabulary Parade Scrapbook on the last three pages.

Karen Land, Greenport Public Schools, NY, Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.”  Review from Amazon.

The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter is for kids in grades 2-4.  “Some people collect shells or stones; young Selig collects words.  Whenever he hears a new one he likes, he jots it down on a slip of paper and stuffs it into a convenient pocket, a sock, a sleeve, or a hat.  When you’re a kid, such eccentric behavior doesn’t go unnoticed, and soon his classmates have given him a new name, “Wordsworth,” and a new word to add to his collection, oddball.  Ouch!  But with the help of a friendly genie, who calls him “Voidsvoith, a lover of voids,” Selig finds his life’s purpose and romance, to boot.  Potter’s signature naive-style art is light and comical, while Schotter’s words are a lovely celebration of the power and the music of language.  A glossary of Selig’s favorite words–from aflutter to windmill–adorns the book’s endpapers.  Michael Cart

Copyright © American Library Association.  All rights reserved” Review from Amazon

Max’s Words by Kate Banks is for kids in grades PreK – 2.  “Max’s two older brothers are serious collectors: Benjamin saves stamps and Karl keeps coins.  The youngest boy decides to accumulate words.  He carefully selects them from newspapers and magazines, cutting out and sorting them by category: colors, foods, small ones, big ones.  He copies entries from the dictionary onto pieces of paper and adds them to his mounting collection.  It doesn’t matter if coins or stamps are moved around, but words can be arranged and rearranged to create stories. Even though his siblings won’t share pieces of their collections, Max gives away words and the three boys devise a short story together.  Imaginative, softly colored illustrations reveal the gathered words scattered all over the pages.  They are fine examples of concrete poetry: HUNGRY has a chunk bitten out of it; ALLIGATOR has teeth and an eye peering from the R; BASEBALL is printed in the shape of a bat.  The text is set in a variety of styles and sometimes curves around the piles of Max’s collection. This tale pays homage to the written word and may get children thinking about cutting and pasting their own stories or creating concrete poetry.–Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.  All rights reserved.”  Review from Amazon.


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