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Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0152060537, Paperback)Sniffling and coughing through a week at home with a cold, Sage (one who shows wisdom, experience, judgment") misunderstands one of Mrs. Page's vocabulary words in the homework assignment, and the resulting embarrassment in front of her fifth-grade class leaves her "devastated: wasted, ravaged. Ruined: destroyed. Finished: brought to an end." Miss Alaineus is not, as Sage determined in her "defective and delirious" mind, "the woman on green spaghetti boxes whose hair is the color of uncooked pasta and turns into spaghetti at the ends." Sage slumps home after the vocabulary bee fiasco, to her mom's comforting, if seemingly impossible words: "There's gold in every mistake." Fortunately, and as always, mothers know best.
Debra Frasier (author-illustrator of On the Day You Were Born) has created a masterpiece of clever wordplay in her hilarious and poignant story of the exquisite pain of schoolgirl mortification. One sentence using vocabulary words from A to Z runs along the bottom or side of each page ("Obliterate me, send me to oblivion--no one could outdo my stupidity"). Not just for word-worms, virtually any kid will identify with the occasionally confusing world of learning, and be reassured by the happy conclusion. Frasier's youthful artwork was inspired by her daughter's fifth-grade desk. "No fancy art supplies; just markers, notebook paper, pencils, glue, and scissors." The result is eminently inviting for grade-school children. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:11 -0400)
When Sage's spelling and definition of a word reveal her misunderstanding of it to her classmates, she is at first embarrassed but then uses her mistake as inspiration for the vocabulary parade.
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