Babble!: And How Punctuation Saved It

Tundra. Oct. 2022. 72p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780735265837.
K-Gr 4–The village of Babble makes no sense. Sentences and thoughts run together and there is no logic in speech. Then a small child with a mysterious bag of interesting symbols brings order to life and thought. In this humorous parable, periods, commas, question marks, and especially exclamation points help organize life and even save the life of a drowning child. Told in a fairy-tale format, this story humorously clarifies readers’ age-old questions on the need for punctuation rules. The frightening message of “Soon we will eat Grandpacan, with the simple addition of a comma, become the much more appetizing, “Soon we will eat, Grandpa.” The illustrations in muted brown are hazy and of not much interest. But the story itself will make children laugh and learn in equal measure.
VERDICT Recommended for classroom use as well as for independent reading; this useful parable teaches a memorable lesson on the necessity of good punctuation skills.

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