Book Review: Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

exclamationmarkPair self-actualization with punctuation and you can’t go wrong, right? Right!

I absolutely loved this coming of age story for the punctuation mark, exclamation mark, who doesn’t quite fit in with his family full of periods. He sticks out–literally–except when he is sleeping. He tries to hide what makes him different but it just doesn’t work. He even contemplates running away. Then out of nowhere this other strange looking thing appears–a question mark who knows its purpose–and starts asking the exclamation mark a plethora of questions. After it asks the 17th question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, exclamation mark screams as only he can, “STOP!” And then…it happens, the exclamation mark realizes his exclamatory gift! He starts to try it out. He shares it with others.  “It was like he broke free from a life sentence,” said the narrator. This is one of many clever instances of word play in the book. And thus the story ends, happily.  It goes off to “make his mark.”

This is an excellent choice for a mini lesson during grammar and writing time when teaching punctuation marks and the affect different ones have on sentences. Of course, there are many other ways to use this book in addition to reading it for the fun of it.  I’d love to read sequels with the other punctuation marks. The sky is the limit!


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