Early Elementary Fun Grammar and Word Books

Having been to the library more than once this summer {for the summer reading program we do every year}, I decided to be more productive in my book selections during our last visit.

I read recently that a child loses the most knowledge between first and second grade. This statement bothered me because I have a son about to enter second grade. Deciding to concentrate on language and grammar skills, I perused the 420 shelf. {Our library uses the Dewey Decimal System.}

There was a plethora of interesting books about words, word usage, punctuation, and grammar which could be read by or to a younger elementary aged child.

For prefixes and suffixes, I found If You Were a Prefix and If You were a Suffix. Both are written by Marcie Aboff. With whimsical text, each takes a personal approach to learning about word parts. At the end, each book has a suggestion for a hands-on activity to learn more.

Emphasizing the importance of commas and their placement, Eats, Shoots & Leaves has a picture book version available. Each facing page presents the exact same worded sentence. The only difference between each sentence is the comma placement. The illustrations reflect the different meanings and often present hilarious scenarios.

For some plain ol' fun with words and phrases, I read my son Antics, Monkey Business, and I Scream Ice Cream: A Book of Wordles.

Written by Cathi Hepworth, Antics is an ABC book which features a word containing 'ant' for each letter of the alphabet. For instance, for 'h' the word is 'hesitant' and the picture shows an ant on the high diving board hesitant to jump.

Monkey Business is another cute book. Each page illustrates an idiom. 'Spring chicken' and
'fish out of water' are just two of the idioms used throughout the book. Each page features a monkey somewhere in the picture. My son and I read through the book once and then returned to each illustration to find the monkey.

Wordles is not a word my son or I were familiar with before reading I Scream Ice Cream. Apparently, the author thought many readers would wonder and included a definition on the title page. Wordles are phrases or groups of words which sound the same, but are different in spelling and meaning. The example given in the beginning is 'Heroes' and 'He rows.' Throughout the book there are some silly wordless which had my son cracking up. The illustrations help explain any unfamiliar terms or words as well.

Finally, I had picked up two rhyming dictionaries. To be truthful, I did not even know there was such a thing. Both Junior Rhyming Dictionary and Collins Rhyming Dictionary are set up alphabetically with a common word and a list of words which rhyme following the entry word. The Junior Rhyming Dictionary is for younger uses and the one I encourage my younger son to use. However, the other book is just as nice and I did find my older children scanning its pages more than once. Each rhyming dictionary features a few activities and ideas for using the books or rhymes.

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