Feet and Puppies, Thieves and Guppies

What Are Irregular Plurals?
Feet and Puppies, Thieves and Guppies: What Are Irregular Plurals? illus. by Brian Gable. 32p. (Words Are CATegorical Series). CIP. Millbrook. Mar. 2012. RTE $16.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-4918-1; ebook $12.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-8848-7. LC 2011022387.
Gr 1–3—A handy guide to a perplexing topic, this overview of irregular plurals is one of the more useful entries in the series. Through playful rhyming verse, Cleary instructs readers in both the typical form for English plurals and some rules regarding the formation of irregular plurals. "Many words that end in y/will end in i-e-s/when naming more than one,/as in,/'My buddies made a mess.'" Words that end in -y, -fe, -f, and -o are given general rules. Cleary also advises that internal vowels may change in the plural form and that some plurals follow no rules and just have to be memorized. Plenty of examples are provided, with each one highlighted through the use of a large, boldly colored font. Gable again employs his familiar style of hand-drawn and computer-inked cartoon illustrations, with vaguely human cats in an assortment of hues demonstrating the grammatical examples given on each page. Crazy costumes, silly glasses, and comical expressions keep the mood as light as the author's bouncy narration. While the singsong text and bright, adequately sized figures would work nicely for read-alouds, the subject matter is best suited to independent reading. Appropriate for early elementary students looking to improve their spelling, this volume is a great addition to classroom and library collections.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
In this book, irregular plurals are any plurals that are not formed by adding -s or -es to the base word; so, even words that follow regular spelling rules for forming plurals (e.g., buddy/buddies) are considered irregular. Truly irregular plurals like teeth, mice, deer, and children are covered, but lightly. Goofy cartoon cat illustrations add interest to the rhyming text.

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