~by Amanda Smith
In LITTLE RED WRITING by Joan Holub (2013, Chronicle Books), a little red pencil tries to stay on the precarious path of storytelling, but gets side tracked into numerous adventures until she ends up in Principal Granny’s office. But my, Principal Granny has quite a growly voice, a long, tangly tail and big sharp teeth! Whatever happened to Principal Granny and will Red complete her journey on the story path in time to read her story to her classmates?
Along her journey, Red and the readers are playfully introduced to story structure, vivid verbs and other parts of speech, and their effect on storytelling. The colorful, brilliant illustrations by Melissa Sweet add punch to each of the parts of speech. The leaves in the descriptive forest are covered in adjectives and the glue drops emphasize the conjunctions in a run on sentence. Different fonts, bright pages, and at times a comic book-style lay out make each page-turn a surprise. Every page is a party for the eyes!
Joan Holub uses humor, playfulness and tongue-in-cheek puns to teach concepts that children might think of as dry and lifeless. This book is a complete and fun adventure that can be appreciated purely as an entertaining read-aloud story, but it offers an extra layer that makes it a boon for language arts teachers.
This fractured fairy tale filled my storyteller soul with warm fuzzies and made my grammar teacher heart pump chocolates. Kids will love it for the vivid art and frolicking adventure.
Joan’s newest picture book, THE KNIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS will be on shelves September 2015.
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