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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do…

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!

by Lynne Truss

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The history lessons were interesting...the rants less so. Good thing I used an ellipsis instead of a dash, else Ms. Truss might protest. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
I love this book and which I would have read it as child. This book shows the importance of comma placement and how it can affect what a sentence is saying. I think reading this book aloud to students without the picture first would be a really fun experiment. If the teacher read the sentence and asked a student to describe the picture first and then show them the picture and sentence. I loved this book. ( )
  MeganSchneider2 | Apr 24, 2017 |
A very cute book demonstrating the same sentences with two different placements of the comma. The book also contains a picture in which pertains to the sentences to assist the student in comprehending the meaning. The book also contains the sentences on two pages which explains how the comma changes the sentence. This book will be a great tool to use when emphasizing the importance of the comma during the editing stage of the writing process. ( )
  Mb_Flor | Mar 7, 2017 |
I had heard really great things about this book, but I must admit that it did not really live up to my expectations. Yes, it's a really cute educational picture book with fun illustrations and creative examples. On each two-page spread, the book compares the same sentence with commas added, moved, or removed. The comparison shows how drastically a simply comma can change the meaning of a sentence.

However, I find that many of the examples in the book are a stretch or even grammatically debatable. For example, one spread points out the drastic difference between "Eat here, and get gas" versus "Eat here and get gas." However, this implies that the comma can be omitted to illustrate a causal relationship. Whenever my students join two complete thoughts together with the word "and" and omit a comma, this is treated as a grammar mistake, As would the book's example of "Slow, children cross," which implies that slow is a command. A command should not simply be joined to a sentence with a comma, as that's a run-on. I realize that this is being nitpicky about grammar, but if you're not going to be nitpicky about grammar in a grammar book, then when?

Furthermore, many of the examples chosen were simply unrealistic, such as "Don't push please" (meaning don't push the actual word 'please') and "The boy turns swings and slides" (meaning the boy is literally twisting slides). These aren't sentences that anyone would say in real life, so the examples feel irrelevant.

Regardless of these complaints, my 12th grade students enjoyed flipping through the book. I could hear many revelation as well as many thoughtful discussions about grammar rules and their effect on meaning (e.g. "Wait... Shouldn't there be a comma there, or is that really OK?"). Overall, the book got myself and my students thinking about punctuation, which is really the point. ( )
  akerner1 | Feb 15, 2017 |
"A panda walked into a cafe. He ordered a sandwich, ate it, then pulled out a gun and shot the waiter,. 'Why?' groaned the injured man. The panda shrugged, tossed him a badly punctuated wildlife manual and walked out. And sure enough, when he waiter consulted the book, he found the explanation. 'Panda' read the entry from his assailant. 'Large black and white mammal naive to China. Eats, shoots, and leaves" (Truss, pg.1). Punctuation, is one of the major concepts of the English language that many seem to have an issue with. Especially coma rules. This book illustrates how putting a comma in the wrong spot can change the whole meaning of a statement. What makes this book so complementary and engaging is that the author provides a picture illustrating the real meaning of the sentence, and one that illustrated the misused comma meaning of the sentence. Teachers can use this book to provide students with an example of how to properly use commas. The best part is,is that at the back of the book the author took the liberty to list the most commonly misused comma rules and provides the reader with an explanation for each rule. ( )
  mkb027 | Oct 17, 2016 |
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This is the children's version of "Eats Shoots & Leaves".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399244913, Hardcover)

Illuminating the comical confusion the lowly comma can cause, this new edition of Eats, Shoots & Leaves uses lively, subversive illustrations to show how misplacing or leaving out a comma can change the meaning of a sentence completely.

This picture book is sure to elicit gales of laughter—and better punctuation—from all who read it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:09 -0400)

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See how using (or not using) a comma can change the meaning of a sentence.

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