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Language and literature

becker_alphabestBecker, Helaine AlphaBest: The Zany, Zanier, Zaniest Book About Comparatives and Superlatives
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Kids Can

Illustrated by Dave Whamond. Adjectival comparatives and superlatives from angry, angrier, angriest to zany, zanier, zaniest are presented alongside energetic cartoons of carnival scenes. Some pages require a careful look to discern the connection between word and picture. There’s no narrative sequence to this visual feast, but the whole is connected by the alphabetical sequence and patterned wordplay; teaching tips are appended.
Subjects: General Language; Concept books—Alphabet books; Carnivals

bryant_right word

Bryant, Jen The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus
Gr. K–3
     48 pp.   Eerdmans

Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Apt language and ingenious imagery combine to tell the life story of Peter Mark Roget, creator of the thesaurus. Bryant’s linear telling follows Peter closely, expressing his curiosity, sensitivity, and populist spirit in language both decorous and warm. Clever book design and visionary illustration add layers of meaning. Sweet embellishes her own gentle watercolors with all manner of clippings and realia. Reading list, timeline. Bib.
Subjects: Language—Vocabulary; Great Britain; Roget, Peter Mark; Books and reading

isabella_chitchatIsabella, Jude Chitchat: Celebrating the World’s Languages
Gr.
4–6     44 pp.     Kids Can

Illustrated by Kathy Boake. Language evolution, language acquisition, and endangered languages are just a few of the topics explored in this thorough introduction to linguistics. The casual tone and humorous examples make the impressively informative text approachable, as does the bright, appealing layout. Though slick (and sometimes even creepy-looking), the caricatures in Boake’s Photoshop art are diverse, comical, and unique. Glos., ind.
Subjects: General Language

levine_writer to writerLevine, Gail Carson Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink
Gr. 4–6
     295 pp.     Harper Collins/Harper

Ella Enchanted author Levine offers writing advice and prompts, primarily for fiction writers. The chapters, mostly expanded from her blog, look at aspects of writing including large-scale character and plot concerns and more specific matters of style. A lengthy section focuses on poetry and its role in fiction. Levine’s second book on writing (after Writing Magic) takes budding authors’ craft questions seriously. Ind.
Subjects: General Literature

llanas_how to analyze the works of suzanne collinsLlanas, Sheila How to Analyze the Works of Suzanne Collins
Middle school, high school  
112 pp.     ABDO

Van Zee, Amy How to Analyze the Works of C. S. Lewis
Middle school, high school        
112 pp.     ABDO

Essential Critiques series. These volumes introduce literary criticism, provide summaries of the authors’ famous works, and offer lightly annotated essays modeling the application of criticism through different approaches. Each book leads readers through key steps of analysis and encourages readers’ own critiques. Featuring the work of contemporarily popular Collins and beloved Lewis enlivens these suitable overviews of literary interpretation and essay construction. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects:
General Literature; Collins, Suzanne; Writing

From the January 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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