illus. by Ivan Brunetti. 40p. TOON. May 2017. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781943145171.
RedReviewStarK-Gr 2—The fun begins with the title—Wordplay—a compound word for a book about compound words. Annemarie and her classmates work on their assignment to compile lists of compound words. "How about housework?" asks a boy. "YES!" responds the teacher as Annemarie quietly giggles, imagining cheery houses vacuuming and dusting. Each new word conjures up another humorous imagining—two boys playing catch with a foot (football) or a calendar page taking a nap (daydream). Brunetti's cartoon art is rendered in a modern, intentionally naive style—largely two-dimensional, with a childlike simplicity that will resonate with the book's audience. Panels vary in size but are symmetrical and clearly delineated by white borders. Word bubbles are white with simple black text. Compound words appear in red. In addition, children of many races and ethnicities are prominently featured. As with all of the publisher's offerings, this work contains tips for sharing comics with kids and is labeled with grade, Lexile, guided reading, and reading recovery levels.
VERDICT An amusing language arts lesson in a comic book format, perfect for individual or small group sharing. What's not to love?

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