Monday, February 25, 2013

Zoola Palooza A Book of Homographs

I have been very impressed with the number of picture books on the market that focus on teaching English language concepts to children. I like the ones that take the time to teach children and remind parents of the concepts that are being introduced or reinforced in the book. It provides a little teaching aide for both parent and child as they work through the book. For older children using the book as a support to other textbooks, these explanations are often clearer and more easily understood with the supporting illustrations.

In Zoola Palooza: A Book of HomographsGene Barretta gives a wonderful explanation in his notes to the reader about the differences between homographs, homonyms, and homophones.

This book focuses on homographs, pairs of words that share the same spelling, but have both different pronunciations and meanings. The author uses two pairs of homographs per illustration. The examples range from tense changes like read and read to completely different meanings such as bass and bass. I did have an issue that a couple of the pairs were not actual words. I thought this was unfortunate as there were obvious choices that would have provided examples of real homographs.

The illustrations will draw readers young and old to the story. The animal characters are set in humorous situations that will draw readers into the story.

I would suggest getting books of homographs, homonyms, and homophones to familiarize children with these concepts. For older students who still might not know the differences, this is also a great way to teach them. Visual representations can help learners far more than explanations in textbooks.

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