Hairy, Scary, Ordinary; To Root, to Toot, to Parachute; & A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink by Brian P. Cleary


NF PB 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

adjective verb noun

Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is an Adjective? 
Published September 1st, 2001 by Carolrhoda Books

To Root, to Toot, to Parachute: What Is a Verb? 
Published April 1st, 2001 by Carolrhoda Books

A Mink, a Rink, a Skating Rink: What Is a Noun?
Published September 1st, 1999 by Lerner Publishing Group

Author: Brian P. Cleary
Illustrator: Jenya Prosmitsky

Hairy, Scary, Ordinary Goodreads Summary: Simple, rhyming text and colorful cartoon cats help children expand their vocabularies and gain an appreciation for the rhythm of language in this lighthearted book of rhyming verse. Adjectives like frilly, silly, polka-dotted, fizzy, and spunky are printed in color, and all the words will tickle you pink!

To Root, to Toot, to Parachute Goodreads Summary: What is a verb? It’s easier to show than explain! In this fun and animated introduction to grammer, rhyming verse is used to creatively clarify the concept of verbs. Chock-full of colorful, lively examples, the playful rhymes and illustrations of comical cartoon cats combine to hightlight key words in the sentences. Verbs like toss and tumble, jump and jam, jog and juggle, jig and leap are printed in color for easy identification.

A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink Goodreads Summary: “Words are Categorical” is a series which explores some of the basic principles of English grammar in a fun way. The books each deal with a different part of language, using playful and ingenious rhymes to make them easy to remember. In “What is a Noun?” children are introduced to one of the essential building blocks of the English language. It includes sections on both common and proper nouns. The nouns are highlighted in color to make them easy to identify.

My Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Teaching parts of speech is one of the hardest things to teach students, and it is even harder to teach them in a fun and interesting way. These books make it so that both of these things are possible. I like that each of the books focuses on only one part of speech instead of trying to teach multiple grammatical concepts thus making the chance of mastery much more likely. I also found the rhyming and silliness of the books just so endearing, and it would definitely help with the knowledge sticking.

Discussion Questions: What is a noun/adjective/verb? What are some examples? What are some nouns/adjectives/verbs that rhyme with each other?

We Flagged: 
Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: “Adjectives are words like hair, scary, cool, and ordinary. They describe like tan and tall, funny, frisky, smooth and small.”

To Root, to Toot, to Parachute: “Whether you scale a wall or a fish, make a design on a cup or a dish, take out the garbage, or sharpen your knife—verbs are a part of your everyday life.”

A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: “Hill is a noun. Mill is a noun. Even Uncle Phil is a noun.”

Read This If You Loved: Eat, Shoots, and Leaves, Twenty-Odd Ducks, & The Girl’s Like Spaghetti by Lynne Truss, Other Words are CATegorical books by Brian Leary, Basher Basics: Grammar by Simon Basher, and other grammar books

Recommended For: 

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9 thoughts on “Hairy, Scary, Ordinary; To Root, to Toot, to Parachute; & A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink by Brian P. Cleary”

  1. Thanks for sharing these books. Will definitely be getting them this summer to read with my older son who struggles with all things grammatical. Seems like a fun and engaging series–yet content-rich as well.


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