Review

Kirkus Reviews - The Ghouls' Guide to Good Grammar

Cover: The Ghouls' Guide to Good Grammar

Monsters, witches, and zombies add importance to the grammar and spelling rules in this guide. Starting with end-of-sentence punctuation, the rules are straightforward, and the example is a soft punchline: A monster asks a group of trembling human children, “What’s shaking?” to demonstrate the use of a question mark. The examples get more interesting as different versions of sentences are compared, with their meanings changed by variations in punctuation and spelling choices. A human child says, “Time to eat, Sylvester” to a cat, but a monster says, “Time to eat Sylvester.” Commas, contractions, capitalization, word pairs like than/then, and homophones that fit the theme (hair-raising versus hare-raising) all get straightforward explanations along with illustrated examples. Sections are clearly marked with yellow titles on black banners for easy skimming, and comparisons are laid out in side-by-side panels with speech and thought bubbles. The words being taught are printed in red. The colorful, cartoon illustrations are gross and humorous enough to hold children’s attention over multiple readings as the grammar and spelling rules sink in. The power of grammar and spelling to turn loved ones into meals conveys the importance of detail in proper writing; the playful touches of the ghoul theme make these rules more memorable than the standard textbook guide can. The human characters are racially diverse. A ghoul grammar quiz at the end tests readers’ memories of the rules. A scarily fun addition to the reference shelf.

—Leslie Kimmelman

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The Ghouls' Guide to Good Grammar New! Pending

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