Greedy Apostrophe: A Cautionary Tale by Jann Carr


Greedy Apostrophe: A Cautionary Tale (2009), written by Jan Carr and illustrated by Ethan Long was quite an informative little book. I believe that it would go under the title of edutainment since it was informative, educational, and entertaining all at the same time.

I highly recommend this book since it does double duty. It could introduce or reinforce the concept to the students while serving as a refresher for parents reading the book to their child. This was definitely a great purchase. I purchased this in the summer and I am definitely going to use it during English/Language Arts. I would put this book (as far as reading it independently) at 3rd-4th grade level. However, the content can be understood by students as young as 2nd grade. Plus, the illustrations are cute and interesting enough to capture the interest of young children.

I know that my students will really respond to this book. They’ll be learning and they won’t even know it. I even have a game in mind for them that I’m going to make up. It’ll be called find the “right” apostrophe. The idea came from the book since the greedy apostrophe bounces around a lot and insinuates himself into situations where he does not belong. Hence the title “greedy”.

Synopsis (from book jacket): Greedy Apostrophe is on the loose and causing all kind’s (kinds) of trouble. Hide your toy’s (toys), your dog’s (dogs) and your ice cream cone’s (cones) because nothing is safe from his greed. He want’s (wants) it all. But this isn’t his book, it’s yours (not your’s). Save it from the hands of Greedy Apostrophe-before it’s (not its) too late.

“The big question is how are we going to stop the Greedy Apostrophe?” wonders all of the other punctuation marks. How indeed? He is all over the place, especially in places he’s not supposed to be.

As they line up, wondering what jobs they would be assigned, who should burst into the door but the Greedy Apostrophe himself?

While the other punctuation marks did not like it, their disdain would have to wait as they recited the Punctuation Oath.

“On my honor I promise

To work with words, phrases, and sentences

To make their meanings clear.

I promise to uphold the rules of punctuation

And always to help readers, never to confuse them.”

However, one punctuation mark refuses to recite the oath. Who is it? Of course it is the Greedy Apostrophe. He does not believe in the oath. He thinks that it is his job to confuse readers-not help them.

As everyone else is handed their job assignment, the greedy apostrophe is the last to receive his job assignment. The assignment is for a possessive!

Oh boy! All the other punctuation marks freeze because they know that he always gets into trouble with  possessives. The Director reminds him that, since he’s assigned possessive, he is only allowed to insert himself before an s if that s is there to indicate that someone possesses something.

“Do you understand that when readers see you, they understand that something belongs to someone?” asks the Director.

Do you think the Greedy Apostrophe is going to listen? Well, I guess you’re going to have to read it for yourself to find out.

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