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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! Hardcover – July 25, 2006


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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! + The Girl's Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can't Manage without Apostrophes! + Twenty-Odd Ducks: Why, every punctuation mark counts!
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (July 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399244913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399244919
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 10.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3–Truss's picture-book version of her adult bestseller tackles the topic of commas and what can go wrong when they are misused. The title is derived from an old joke in which a panda misunderstands correct panda behavior after reading a poorly punctuated wildlife guide. Versions of two identically worded sentences are presented side by side, demonstrating the difference in meaning achieved when a comma is added or subtracted. Timmons's humorous watercolor cartoons bring the point home. In one spread, the sentence on the left (Look at that huge hot dog!) is illustrated with a gigantic sausage, while that on the right (Look at that huge, hot dog!) shows a tall, sweltering canine. The author cleverly selects examples with the potential for comical (and grammatically correct) revisions. Endnotes elaborate on comma usage in more technical terms. While a title on grammar may need hand selling, both read-aloud audiences and independent readers will discover the potent possibilities of punctuation. More specific than Robin Pulver's Punctuation Takes a Vacation (Holiday House, 2003), Truss's work is sure to spark creative assignments in elementary composition curriculums.–Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Among popular nonfiction titles for adults adapted for younger audiences, this picture book based on Truss' 2004 best-seller about punctuation may be a surprise, considering most kids' indifference to the topic. Yet it proves very effective, thanks to entertaining repackaging that narrows the original's broad purview to the comma, and focuses on cartoonist Timmons' interpretations of humorous comma-related goofs akin to the one referenced by the title (the punchline of an old joke about a panda, here set in a library rather than a bar). While dissolving into giggles over the change in meaning between "Eat here, and get gas," or "Eat here and get gas" (likely to be the most popular of the 14 sentence pairs given), children will find themselves gaining an instinctive understanding of the "traffic signals of language," even without the concluding spread explaining the whys and wherefores. This is a no-brainer for language arts class, but also recommend it to fans of Jon Agee's books of palindromes, William Steig's delightful alphabet rebuses, or introductory grammar books by Brian Cleary. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

This version of the book is intended for kids, but adults love it, too!
R. Bergfors
Lynne Truss makes it quite clear why teachers are so picky about commas--they totally change the meaning of the sentence.
Margaret Silver
Finally there is a book out there to help teach children the importance of using correct punctuation in their writing.
Bookworm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Silver on August 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you are tired of explaining and re-explaining the importance of punctuation in writing, then this is the book for you. I originally purchased the "adult" version of this book, and while it is very clever, it is not appropriate for my students. This book, however, is perfect for my learning disabled 7th graders. Lynne Truss makes it quite clear why teachers are so picky about commas--they totally change the meaning of the sentence. The pictures help make it even more obvious that to get across the exact message, the writer must watch punctuation marks. The probably crude "gas sentence" is especially appealing to 7th grade boys. As a middle school teacher, I am no longer shocked or upset by crude pictures, statements, writing. It comes with the age group.

The endnotes that explain the rule for each picture add to the educational content.

This is another purchase I made over the summer--see "This is the Teacher"--that will be used and enjoyed by my middle school students. Nowadays students want to be entertained at school. Children will easily be entertained while learning the rules of grammar.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anne Lamott on July 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I just bought this book for my eight-year-old granddaughter, but I think I laughed about as much as she did. The artist's drawings are clever and funny, and illustrate a simple sentence to show what happens when a comma moves or isn't used properly. The book also has short explanations at the back of the book in case you're not, as I am not, an expert at punctuation rules and grammar. I hope Truss and Timmons explain a great deal more of grammar. They made commas great fun for my granddaughter--and for me!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Based upon the much longer "adult" book by the same name, EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES takes a cue from its progenitor and attempts to illustrate to kids the importance of commas and using them properly. The book has a series of illustrations accompanying each of the sentences to vividly display the different meanings in the sentences because of the commas. For instance, one of the sentences says, "Eat here, and get gas" and is accompanied by an illustration of a gas and food place. The next page says, "Eat here and get gas" and shows a scene in a restaurant with a person flying in the air because of a belch. The comparison might seem crude for older readers, but for children and juveniles it makes the point quite clear. At the end of the book there are two pages explaining the differences between each of the sentences and why the comma placement is so important. Overall, this is a great book to illustrate "why, commas really do make a difference." It's geared more towards children in Pre-K--5th grades, but from experience I know that it could be very useful as a tool in some middle school and even high school English language arts classes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Boyd W. Damron on January 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is an absolute must for every one no matter what their age. It shows you just how ridiculous, hilarious or frightening it can be when you use incorrect punctuation. I bought the children's version for my grandchildren and the original version for my daughter who is an English teacher.

Ms. Truss writes in an entertaining fashion and gets her point across. The reading moves along quickly.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By me on November 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a school librarian who can't keep the "older" version of this book on the shelves between teachers, students and their parents laughing their way through it.

When I saw a younger version listed in a bookstore, I made the mistake of buying it sight unseen and was quite disappointed. While the cartoons are amusing and the whole concept is good, I have found myself wondering why I paid so much for this book. Most of our kids page through it once and are bored by the time they get to the second reading.

It could have been so much better!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Momika on August 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My 9 year old thinks this book is hysterical. It would have been better if there were more to it for the price, but it's still worth buying!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jen on August 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the illustrated version of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss shows how the placement of a comma can change the meaning of a sentence. Hilarious illustrations, great for showing kids the importance of punctuation and fun for adults!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G.S.B. on June 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book thinking it might be too young for my 9-year-old daughter. However, when it arrived it was pored over by not only my 9-year-old, but her 13-year-old brother as well. The copy I sent to my sister's children (ages 5 and 7) was also well-received.

I recommend this book as a fun tool to teach and to re-enforce proper comma usage. It is a subtle and pain-free way to influence your child's writing skills for good. Buy the book. You won't regret it.
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