November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pick of the Day: Exclamation Mark

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

yellow square with smiley face exlamation markROSENTHAL, Amy Krouse. Exclamation Mark. illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. 56p. Scholastic. Mar. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-43679-3.
Gr 1-5–Through a perfect pairing of clever design and tongue-in-cheek humor, Rosenthal and Lichtenheld effectively demonstrate the function of the exclamation mark (as well as the period and question mark) in this tale about a depressed punctuation mark that just doesn’t fit in. On an unadorned backdrop of lined paper, several periods and one exclamation mark are lined up in a row. Clearly, he stands out in a crowd. Like Elmer in David McKee’s classic tale, the exclamation mark struggles with his difference and tries to blend in. When the downcast punctuation meets a question mark who overwhelms him with inquiries, our hero finally finds his voice and tells the other to “Stop!” From there, he builds his confidence in making declarative statements and leaves the group “to make his mark.” Rosenthal shines in her play on words (“It was like he broke free from a life sentence”). Lichtenheld’s minimalist style is deceivingly simple; a curlicue or crumpled line, combined with an amazingly impressive circle with eyes and a mouth, is all that’s needed to convey emotion when the exclamation mark is “confused, flummoxed, and deflated.” This fun-to-read tale will find a ready home in language-arts lessons, reminding burgeoning elementary-age writers which punctuation personality belongs in which type of sentencewithout the tedium that accompanies traditional grammar lessons. This one is a must-have!!!–Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, Farmington Hills, MI

Share
A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.