"The best children's stories are wisdom dipped in art and words." -Peter Reynolds

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Exclamation Mark

Exclamation Mark was written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. Published in 2013, this book is about an exclamation mark on the path of self-discovery. He first encounters periods and tries so hard to be like the other periods but the more he pretends to be like everyone else, the more he feels confused and unfulfilled. Until one day he meets a question mark who, understandably, asks a LOT of questions! This completely confuses exclamation mark who ends up becoming very annoyed with all the questioning and yells, “STOP!” This surprised both the question mark and the exclamation mark. So then question mark asks, "How'd you do that? Can you do it again?" Exclamation mark takes off with sentences that are true to himself:

"Hi! Howdy! Wow! Yippee! This is fun! Way to go! Bravo! You're it! Yes! Home run! Cool! Congratulations! Happy Birthday! Yum! Encore! Go! That's great! Look out! Wake up! Thanks! Boo!"

Exclamation mark is so elated by this new discovery that he goes to show off his abilities to the periods and they are just as excited and happy for him as he is. This simple and sweet story teaches the lesson of being yourself in celebrating your uniqueness. You will be happiest and most fulfilled with you are true to yourself!
The design of this book is actually quite simple.  The dust jacket is a golden yellow with a smiling exclamation mark in the center. The end papers are a solid, deep burgundy color and I am not sure the reason for that color choice. The pages of the book mimic primary, lined writing paper which gives the story a very academic, child-centered theme. I enjoy the simplicity of the cover and illustrations and it works perfectly with the story line. 
As a second grade teacher, I plan on reading this book to my students for a writing lesson on using punctuation. Although this text would also be excellent to use as a reading fluency mini-lesson read aloud for reading the punctuation.  I have found that my class this year are very fluent as a whole but are still struggling to remember to use the proper punctuation at the end of their sentences. 

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