Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grammatical Obsession Can Begin with Board Books

Board books are great for babies and toddlers.  But, give one to a ten-year-old, and you'll probably get a look of disdain. 

When handselling books, audience is key.  You don't want to overwhelm someone by giving them a book that is way too hard or completely uninteresting. But you also don't want to insult someone with a book that is so easy they'd be embarrassed to be reading it -- even under the covers by flashlight.  Nevertheless, there are books that transcend many age groups, and each time you read it -- no matter if you are six or seventy-two -- you always have a new experience.  Really, this is the mark of an awesome book.

Board books are great because they are durable enough to withstand bites, endless pulling, repeated whacking, and drool.  Many fantastic books make their debut in beautifully jacketed hardcover picturebooks before becoming a board book, such as Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett.  I'm glad this book is finally in board because, sadly, many people mistake this book as a baby-ish book due to its count of five words and four objects.  Don't get me wrong, it's great for toddlers as well as five-year-olds, but what many people don't realize is that this book is quite sophisticated.  It is not just a book about three pieces of fruit and a friendly bear.

It's all about comma usage. "Orange, bear" basically means an orange and a bear.  However, if you were to say "pear bear" then you must mean a pear colored bear.  This is the perfect book for learning objects and language as a toddler.  Orange Pear is also a great book for grammatical geeks who love to obsess over commas.

Audience can be everything, but don't let it limit your reading list!

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