Punctuation Takes a Vacation

Author: Robin Pulver
Illustrator: Lynn Rowe Reed
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: 2003
Genre: Concept Book
Audience: Gr. 1–3

Overview: I have to admit I surprised myself by picking up a book about punctuation, and surprised myself even more by liking it. Punctuation Takes a Vacation is fairly entertaining, for a book about anthropomorphic punctuation. The story is that the under-appreciated punctuation marks in Mr. Wright's class decide to go on vacation while the class is at recess. The kids return to find that everything they read and say is unpunctuated — bearing a strong resemblance to internet message boards and IM chats, in my opinion. Luckily the kids realize that this makes everything confusing and start to miss punctuation.

Meanwhile, the marks send back postcards describing their holiday and the readers get to decipher which mark sent which card (for example, the question mark writes in all questions, the quotation marks in dialog, and so on). I think the fact that each mark has a personality and writing style that typifies its usage is what really makes the book engaging instead of tedious. There is also a straightforward list of basic punctuation rules at the end.

Reviewer's Name: Preety Sidhu