Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Review - Don't Dangle Your Participle

Don't Dangle Your Participle
by Vanita Oelschlager
illustrated by Mike DeSantis
Date: 2014
Publisher: Vanita Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 22
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Words and pictures show children what a dangling participle is all about. Young readers are shown an incorrect sentence that has in it a dangling participle. They are then taught how to make the sentence read correctly. It is done in a cute and humorous way. The dangling participle loses its way and the children learns how to help it find its way back to the correct spot in the sentence. This is followed by some comical examples of sentences with dangling participles and their funny illustrations, followed by an illustration of the corrected sentence. Young readers will have fun recognizing this problem in sentence construction and learning how to fix it.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm not sure how much the target audience will get out of this, considering I've seen the dreaded dangling participle in published novels (obviously, it's a tricky concept, even for adults). I think the explanation pages at the beginning might be a little bit confusing for kids; things are explained clearly, but with an unfortunate side effect of sounding a bit like a textbook. Once the book gets into the silly illustrated examples, things are much better. You can clearly see how the dangling participle changes the meaning of the sentence. (I did think a couple of the examples--Susie and her balloons and Ida and her ice cream--might've been a little confusing, though, as they could've been fantasy or simply figurative language, and not necessarily dangling participles in certain contexts.)

I probably would've liked this book when I was a kid (more than I did as an adult), but then I've always been interested in how languages are put together. I'm not sure if it would have a broad appeal for the general population of young readers, though.

Quotable moment:

Thank you to NetGalley and Vanita Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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