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Teach with language arts concepts with creative picture books

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Regular reading is one of the best ways to develop a child's language skills. So what better way could there be to gently introduce specific language arts concepts than through cleverly crafted picture books? Try the following books out for a fun journey through the ins and outs of the English language.

  • "Exclamation Mark" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: A little exclamation mark doesn't feel he belongs anywhere until he discovers his true purpose. This fun story introduces children to the roles of exclamation marks, question marks and periods.
  • "The Alphabet from Z to A (With Much Confusion on the Way)" by Judith Viorst: This isn't your typical alphabet book. Like most ABC stories, there are plenty of words listed for each letter of the alphabet, but the real treat of this book is how it points out the many spelling oddities we find in English.
  • "The Case of the Incapacited Capitals" by Robin Pulver: The capital letters are weak from lack of use. A paramedic team comes to resuscitate them, but the only long-term fix is for the kids to start using capitals properly.
  • "The Punctuation Station" by Brian Cleary: A family of giraffes is headed to Punctuation Station, and you're invited along for the ride. Along the way, readers will learn the purposes for variety of punctuation marks, both common and not-so-common ones.
  • "Up, Up and Away" by Ruth Heller: What are adverbs, and what do they do, and how can you recognize them? Readers will build familiarity with adverbs through this book, with its grand pictures and rollicking text. This is one of the many titles in Heller's "World of Language" series.

Not all of these titles are currently in print, but you can purchase a used copy or borrow one from your local library. The Peoria Public Library is located at 107 N.E. Monroe, Peoria, Ill.

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