! (exclamation mark) — Perfect Picture Book Friday

9780545436793_xlgTitle:     !

Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld

Publisher: New York: Scholastic, 2013


Genre: Picture book, fiction

Audience Age: 4 to 8 years

Theme: punctuation, self-esteem

Opening Sentences: He stood out from the very beginning.

Synopsis:     !, surrounded by simple, ordinary, unassuming .s, stands out no matter what he does. He tries to scrunch up, he tries to stomp his long waving top into oblivion, but nothing helps. He doesn’t fit in with the others. Then, out of the silence of all those periods, a ?  bounces in, full of questions. In dealing with all those non-stop questions, ! finds his own voice, and his own purpose.

Activities/Resources: People who are younger than I may not be familiar with the pianist and comedian Victor Borge. He used to do a wonderfully funny routine called Phonetic Punctuation, in which he indicated all the punctuation in his speech with vocalized sounds. Children would have a great time doing this, either using his sounds, or making up their own to correspond with the different punctuation marks. Recordings of this routine are available on iTunes — search for Victor Borge and look in the list for Phonetic Punctuation.

The blog Deceptively Educational has a printable board game about missing punctuation that looks like fun.

The blog The Educators’ Spin On It has an entire Amy Krouse Rosenthal virtual book club for kids.

Scholastic’s website has an interview with Amy and the illustrator, Tom Lichtenheld.

And here’s a link to the trailer, which will show you just what a delight this book is.

Availability: Readily available in hardcover.

Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”

30 thoughts on “! (exclamation mark) — Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. Amy has written a very creative book! It’s entertaining but loads of fun! And Lichtenheld’s illustrations are perfect for the book. Excellent collaboration between Amy and Tom. Nice choice.

  2. GAH! I passed this book by an hour ago at the bookstore! I’ll catch it next time. We always played Punctuation Sounds when I was a teacher. The kids loved making up their own sounds for each mark. The exclamation point was the best!

  3. This looks terrific, Beth. Proof once again that the team of Rosenthal and Lichtenheld can do no wrong! 🙂 All those rules you hear about not writing picture books about inanimate objects? AKR is my go-to example of how to make those stories work! Thanks so much for adding this one to our list!

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