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Don't Dangle Your Participle Paperback – May 1, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

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.

About the Author

Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, philanthropist, former teacher, current caregiver, author and poet. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as a Trustee. Vanita is also Writer in Residence for the Literacy Program at The University of Akron. She and her husband Jim received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in 2006. She won the Congressional ‘Angels in Adoption’ Award for the state of Ohio in 2007 and was named National Volunteer of the Year by the MS society in 2008. She was honored as 2009 Woman Philanthropist of the Year by the Summit County United Way. In May 2011, Vanita received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from University of Mount Union.
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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 22 pages
  • Publisher: Vanita Books (May 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938164032
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938164033
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,599,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a twenty-page picture book aimed at explaining the problem of the dangling participle to children. The typesetting is quirky and attractive, and the illustrations are beautiful, and illustrate the point well.

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.
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Format: Paperback
The book is a cute idea that I totally support. I like how the author carefully explains the participle and it's roll, and then illustrates the incorrect and correct way to use one in a sentence. I was really hoping this would be an awesome supplemental material for English class, while it is useful in that role, the book is awfully short (20 pages!) and most of the sentences feature a passive voice (something we try to teach children to avoid!) Most of the double-spread pages each contain only one sentence - with an excellent illustration of the sentence on the spread. This is a book I recommend you check out of your library, because it is useful, but it's slim nature along with the frequent passive voice just doesn't warrant purchasing it.

I received a complimentary ebook in exchange for my honest review.
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Format: Paperback
Don't Dangle Your Participle is a charming picture book. Unlike most picture books, this book focuses on grammar, rather than a story! I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The book begins with the definition of "participle", along with definitions for the other parts of speech. We're then given numerous examples of dangling modifiers, along with pictures to illustrate them. I think this is insanely clever and made this abstract concept easier to understand. If I were a child, I would understand participles after reading this book.

A downfall to the beginning of this book is the "info spill" in the first two pages. If I were a child, I would be discouraged by all the text crammed into the first two pages. I feel spreading the information among the rest of the pages would make this book easier to read.

The book ends with pictures illustrating how to correctly use participles and how not to use them. If the examples from the first two pages were used in this portion of the book, I would've given it 5 stars. The pictures are drawn very well and clearly communicate its intended message.

If this book included a conclusion, some kind of summary, I would've given it 5 stars. As it is, the book ends abruptly, and then we're told about the author and illustrator, along with how the pictures were drawn. When reading, you can typically guess when a book's about to end. For me, the ending came out of nowhere.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a quick read, only 22 pages, and uses kid-friendly language. The font used in the first 2 pages is small and kind of hard to read, but the text in the pictures (later in the book) are easier to read. I highly recommend this book to parents of children struggling with grammar, primary school teachers, and children who want to improve their writing.
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Format: Paperback
See what I did there in that headline? If not, then this book might just be for you. Other than making 6th grade me snicker every time I think of the word, I had forgotten what dangling participles even were until I was reminded by this book. I thought it would be fun to share with my daughter, so that is why I downloaded it, but hey--maybe I could also learn something.

In DON'T DANGLE YOUR PARTICIPLE, Vanita Oelschlager, whose name sounds like my favorite microbrew, comes out strong with a great introductory lesson to nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Then we get the participle and dangling participle. This is all on the first page. What follows are a series of examples of dangling participles that make grammar lessons fun.

Every two pages we get a full landscape picture with an example of a sentence with a dangling participle then the more appropriate picture and a sentence without the dangling participle on the next page. For example, on one page we have a group of growling children outside of a lion's cage with the sentence, "Growling as they ate, the children gathered around the lions' cage." On the next page we see a better start to the sentence showing that growling really modifies the lions.

As I said, the concept of this is great. The problem is with the delivery. Some of the sentences exemplifying the dangling participles are too outlandish to be convincing. They seem a bit contrived, but they definitely make a point. A bigger problem is the use of passive voice and awkward writing in the "fixed" versions. As someone who reads scientific journals frequently, I am more tolerant of passive writing than many reader might be. Even so, I cringed at some of the corrections.
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