Punctuation Takes a Vacation
Illustrated by Lynn Rowe Reed

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Oh no! Mr. Wright's class can't believe it. Every single punctuation mark in the classroom has gone on vacation! What will it be like without question marks, apostrophes, periods, and commas?

It wont be easy thats for sure says Mr Wright

Children's Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection (a dual selection with Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day)

Children's Choice Award

-Starred Review, SLJ
-An SLJ BEST BOOK of 2003! "From the more than 4500 books reviewed in SLJ's pages in 2003, the editors selected 60 titles as best of the bunch."
-Winner of a 2003 Chapman Award, given by PlanetEsme.com, for Best Classroom Read-Aloud.  Here's the link to read more about the award and other winners. http://www.planetesme.com/chapman.html
-Named by The Bank Street College Children's Book Committee to their list of Best Books of 2003.

ISBN: 0823416879

Kirkus Reviews:
"What a fun way to teach; every language arts teacher needs this to punctuate their instruction, no matter the grade level."

Publishers' Weekly:
"Little will children realize how much they are learning, between the verbal shenanigans and the eye-popping illustrations."

Full NYTimes Review by Patricia T. O'Conner:
In the Age of Emoticons (emotional icons to old folks), punctuation marks are what you use to make tiny faces on the computer. Ask any 7-year-old. A colon? Why, it's Mr. Smiley Face's eyes! Just in time comes Robin Pulver's ''Punctuation Takes a Vacation,'' a welcome reminder to the young and the wired that punctuation isn't about making pictures -- it's about making sense.

As the book opens, the hard-working punctuation marks on Mr. Wright's blackboard perform their thankless tasks day after day without complaining. Then one hot, sticky day, the teacher gives them a vacation. Periods, commas, exclamation points, question marks, colons, apostrophes and quotation marks fly out of the classroom and head for Take-a-Break Lake (''where the water is as clear as a well-punctuated sentence''). When the children come back from recess, of course, nothing they read or write makes sense, not even the eagerly awaited next chapter of their favorite book, ''Ace Scooper, Dog Detective.'' Finally they borrow some disobedient punctuation from Mr. Rongo's class next door and write a contrite message: ''We, will, never? take punctuation for! granted again. Wont you please come back before 10 00 on Friday:'' The vacationers return, tanned and rested, and all is forgiven.

Pulver, the author of the ''Mrs. Toggle'' books, gives each punctuation mark its own personality. The quotation marks can't stop talking, the colons are always telling time, and the exclamation points stand on their heads in excitement. A helpful listing at the end (''Punctuation Rules!'') summarizes everybody's job. And Lynn Rowe Reed's childlike acrylic paintings perfectly capture the mood of whimsical fantasy. Try to imagine a bikini-clad comma on water skis.

Author's Note:

Teachers' Guide available!

It all started with an image that came to me in my light sleep: an image of a sweet little comma, wrapped in a shawl, sitting halfway up the stairs, waiting for me.

I decided the comma was waiting for me to write a story about punctuation. It took me 3 years of struggling to figure out how to do that. This book doesn't have a comma wrapped in a shawl, but it does have a comma wearing a bikini!

Robin with Jacob Wright, 2004