English Language Arts

An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin & Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution by Beth Anderson

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Back of Book:
Once upon a revolutionary time, two great American patriots tried to make life easier. They knew how hard it was to spell words in English. They knew that sounds didn’t match letters. They knew that the problem was an inconvenient English alphabet.

In 1786, Ben Franklin, at age eighty, and Noah Webster, twenty-eight, teamed up. Their goal? Make English easier to read and write. But even for great thinkers, what seems easy can turn out to be hard.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Beth Anderson in exchange for an honest review.
I always love finding engaging historical nonfiction picture books to share in my classroom. An Inconvenient  Alphabet tells the story of how Noah Webster and Ben Franklin attempted to rewrite the alphabet. Throughout the text, Anderson placed words that we use every day next to their more convenient spelling. It allows readers to visually see what Ben and Noah attempted to do. The illustrations are drawn in soft colors. I love the cat and dog that appear throughout the story. The back of the book has a fantastic note from the author about her research into the story. This is a great book to incorporate into an ELA or spelling unit.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

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English Language Arts, Uncategorized

The Word Collector By Peter H. Reynolds

the word collctor

Back of Book:
In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower.
My Review:
This story focuses on a young boy named Jerome. While others collect stamps, coins, or art Jerome collects words. He loves the sound of certain words So he begins collecting them. The more he collects the more he loves words. He uses his words to write poetry, and create songs. As the book progresses, Jerome learns the power that words can have on a person. This text is beautifully written and told. The illustrations are truly a work of art. Peter H. Reynolds is very talented. And created a true masterpiece with this book. The engaging imagery is something that is not seen in very many picture books today. A beautiful story that should be added to any collection.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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English Language Arts

Penny and the Punctuation Bee by Moira Rose Donohue

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Back of book: Elsie, and 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!

My Review:  The concept of having a punctuation bee was very intriguing to me. As a teacher I see a serious focus on spelling bees in my school but not on anything involving punctuation. I believe that is a very important thing to teach students. This book not only focuses on the importance of knowing when to use punctuation, but also how to be a good sport in completion. Penny  is kind to Elsie no matter what. I truly love this book.

Ages 6 and up

32 Pages