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Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is an Adjective? (Words Are Categorical) Paperback – September 1, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4-Descriptive words of many kinds are presented in bouncy, rhyming text: "They're colorful, like mauve and puce,/They help explain, like lean and loose,/Baggy, saggy, stretchy, strong,/Much too short or way too long." The text bounces, too, with the words printed in wavy lines and unevenly sized letters. The adjectives are colorfully highlighted and readers will see their function demonstrated in a wide variety of contexts. Little round cats and quirky humans, both with fat noses and wide eyes, humorously illustrate the meanings. The book will probably be used most often to enliven grammar lessons, and is a companion to A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What Is a Noun? (Carolrhoda, 1999). Unfortunately, the illustrations are too small for group use. While Ruth Heller's Many Luscious Lollipops (Grosset & Dunlap, 1989) is still hard to beat on the subject, Hairy, Scary, Ordinary is a lighthearted, multifaceted illustration of the importance of adjectives in our language.
Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

The team that brought us A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What Is a Noun?(1999) turns its attention with equal felicity to defining adjectives in this antic, illustrated poem. Adjectives, readers discover, are words that ``modify nouns in ways that help tell us / If someone's sincere, delighted, or jealous, / If jackets are herringbone, pinstriped, or plaid, / if babies are crabby, excited, or glad.'' Prosmitsky's amusing cartoons of silly humans and goofy cats illustrate every adjective that lurks in the text, thus reinforcing each meaning visually. Altogether, this entertaining lecture will go far to enliven and enlighten language classes as well as add to the readers vocabulary. Neat, clever, commendable, and groovy. (Picture book. 7-9) -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Series: Words Are Categorical
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575055546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575055541
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a teacher of third graders, I've used this book and "A MINK, A FINK, A SKATING RINK: WHAT IS A NOUN?" to teach and delight my students, and to take some of the tedium out of parts of speech. Within a day or so of introducing these books, all 27 of my group knew the difference between the major parts of speech. We found out that Mr. Cleary has a website, and I printed out some word-building worksheets off it for free, and a took away a couple of suggestions on how integrate teaching nouns with a fun art project, called the noun quilt, in which each letter of the alphabet has a noun, as in B, BOOT, C, CAT and the students draw the item and eventually it becomes this big old paper quilt full of nouns. His publisher assures me that TO ROOT, TO TOOT, TO PARACHUTE: WHAT IS A VERB? will be in soon, and it's a no-brainer that I'll get that as well.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. It's a neat tool to teach with, and also an interesting trip through the world of adjectives. I think Brian P. Cleary may well be on his way to that rarefied place in children's literature occupied by those manic, witty rhymers Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. I like how the adjectives are colored to stand out more, and how the book uses language and words that stretch the young reader and never talks down to them. I originally got hooked on the pun series he did with Rick Dupre (illustrator) a few years back, which includes "It Looks a Lot Like Reindeer," and was delighted to see that he's not neglecting the first, second and third graders! Educational, but really hip and a lot of fun, I just loved it and can't wait to buy A Mink, a Fink, A Skating Rink: What is a Noun?
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Format: Paperback
These books are so good at helping kids learn the parts of speech. They give so many clear examples of sentences, with the specific part of speech in a different color so everyone will notice it. I used these in a classroom during english class and they all loved it. A+ to this book!
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Format: Paperback
My five year old daughter loves this book! Prosmitsky's colorful illustrations make it so much more fun learning the parts of speech. My daughter adores the illustrator's goofy pillow-like cats!
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Format: Hardcover
This book by Brian Cleary is a delightful book live with pictures and relatability to children. They love the illustrations, enjoy listening to the story and then reading it over and over again by themselves. In my third grade classroom, this has been one of the favorites. Brain Cleary's other book (A Mink A Fink A Skating Rink, What is a Noun?) is equally liked and incredible. Thumbs up to two great books that teach content while engaging students in exciting reading!
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By Diane Davani on January 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book to read. My son is 6 and he enjoys the delighful pictures along with its creativity. This has truly helped him better grasp the understanding of adjectives. Now when we discuss sentences and structure, he has many excellent references about adjectives.

Well worth the money!
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Format: Hardcover
Young readers four through six will enjoy Brian Clary's whimsical book, cleverly illustrated by Jenya Prosmitsky, as Hairy, Scary, Ordinary shows what an adjective is. The adjectives are printed in color for easy identification while the playful rhymes and illustrations combine to highlight key words. Hairy, Scary, Ordinary is a delight to read aloud and perfect for homeschooling as well as classroom reading program activity supplementation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased this book for my second grade granddaughter who has thoroughly enjoys reading it. She stays entertained and enjoys the different ways that adjectives are used. If I can find something that will help them learn and enjoy reading while they are learning, I will absolutely grab it ... and this book more than meets that criteria.
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