Friday, May 8, 2015

The War Between the Vowels and the Consonants
 By Priscilla Turner
 Pictures by Whitey Turner

I loaned this book to a 2nd grade teacher last year.  The boys in her class made a special point of finding me later to tell me how much they enjoyed the story!  This story is a ‘boy hook’!

Book Talk
The letters of the alphabet are personified in this fable/ fantasy.

The two groups of letters—consonants and vowels— greatly distrust and dislike each other.  That distrust eventually leads to a war between the two groups.

We learn that the letter ‘Y’ is torn between being on the vowel side of the conflict or the consonant side. It is finally the Y, indeed, that comes up with a final solution that leads to peace and collaboration.

In the end, all the letters realize that if they collaborate and work together, they could create beautiful words, sentences, stories, poems, letters, songs, plays, memoirs…to name a few!

The ‘language play’ in this book is artfully..and playfully…done.  Readers will need to  use their knowledge of the jobs that the letters have in sound and word making to understand the imbedded humor throughout the story. This can spawn great class discussion. The personification of the letters and the seriousness in which they take the war, is hilarious.

Older students will enjoy unpacking the humor in this book.

The illustrations add great detail to the fun of the story.

A favorite part of the story:
“The Vowels tended to be smug and stuck up. After all, there were fewer of them. Surely, they felt, that made them better than the common Consonants.”

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Fantasy
Reading Workshop strategies: Predicting, Summarizing
Writing Workshop genres: Fantasy Writing
Grammar: Wordplay, letter and sound awareness

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