- Age Range: 5 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Hardcover: 22 pages
- Publisher: Vanita Books (May 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1938164024
- ISBN-13: 978-1938164026
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Don't Dangle Your Participle Hardcover – May 1, 2014
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About the Author
Prior to her publishing and writing career, Vanita taught school for 19 years and then helped her husband with his company, Oak Associates. Mother of two daughters, stepmother to a son and daughter, she is grandmother to seven.
Top customer reviews
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The bright illustrations are hilarious, and the various weird situations that the incorrect sentences describe are brought to life in every picture. If you leave a participle dangling in the wrong place, it could be the children at the zoo who are growling over their snacks, instead of lions growling as they should be!
One of the best things about this book is that it demonstrates how important it is to communicate clearly with language, and what silly results you will get if you aren't careful with your words.
If I were an English teacher, introducing Participles for the first time or reviewing them, I would have my class try to act out each sentence, first the incorrect way, and then the correct way. Turning it into a game would really solidify the concept in the students minds, and this book makes it possible. I can just imagine the laughter in a classroom reading this book!
This book makes learning memorable and fun!
Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.
It’s an interesting concept, and one that has real potential as an educational tool for children. It starts by explaining what a dangling participle is, then moves on to providing solutions through a series of examples. Unfortunately, the examples fix one common writing problem by introducing at least two more problems. Here’s one example of a dangling participle from the book:
“Melting in the hot sun, Ida rushed to finish her ice cream.”
This is accompanied by an excellent illustration of a small girl melting into the pavement as she eats an ice cream—which is what the example sentence implies. The book then suggests an alternative sentence structure that removes the dangling participle:
“Melting in the hot sun, the ice cream had to be finished quickly by Ida.”
I’m not an expert on grammar, but even I recognise this as weak writing. It's passive voice, in that the subject of the sentence (the ice cream) is being acted upon, rather than being the one performing the action (Ida). It mixes a present participle (melting) with a past participle (finished), therefore implying the ice cream continued to melt even after she finished it. It also adds an adverb, another sign of weak writing. The sentence would be better written as:
“Ida rushed to finish her ice cream before it melted in the hot sun.”
Unfortunately, almost every example in the book follows the same passive voice pattern. Some are worse, as they do not make the subject or object of the sentence clear. The examples of dangling participles are correct, but while the modified sentences are better, they are still not good writing. Five stars to the illustrator, but not recommended as an instructional tool.
Thanks to Vanita Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
(Note: my review is of a pre-publication copy, so some of the text may have changed. However, there is no sample or 'Look Inside' activated, so I can't see if the examples have been improved).
The first two pages of this seem a bit like a textbook, and they don’t actually give the easiest way to recognize if a participle is dangling (usually the issue is the first noun after the comma – just make sure that noun after the comma is what should be modified by the phrase before the comma). Still their explanation is decent. The rest of the book is all grammar humor at its best. Few things inspire more laughs in the grammar classroom than misplaced modifiers, and the authors thought up some doozies that translate into hilarious illustrations.
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I do wish that the examples in the book hadn't all been formatted in the same way, and I felt that some of the corrected versions were a little stiff and unnatural. Overall, however, I really enjoyed this book and think it could make a fun addition to a grammar unit in a school or homeschool environment.
Three and a half stars
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.
This book has charming and amusing illustrations.
It has a great goal of teaching children how to correctly handle participles and prevent the dreaded dangling participle.
The examples are memorable, with a great explanation at the beginning.
I thought the writing was weak. Time and again, we encourage students to not use passive constructions. From early elementary to my college students, no passives! And yet this book contained several examples that were re-written into passive sentences. While that solved the dangling participle problem, it didn't demonstrate good, clear writing.
I would use this book to indeed demonstrate how to eliminate dangling participles. But then I would take it further and have the students (of all ages) rewrite the sentences to be active, declarative sentences.
Most recent customer reviews
by Vanita Oelschlager
I love the humor of a difficult concept. I read through the book with a smile plastered on my face.Read more