By: Brian P. Cleary
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Pubication Date: March 2011
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: May 2011
If you’d like to add a little excitement to English grammar and basic language art skills you need not look any further than Brian Cleary’s CATegorical cats. A sharp and prissy CATegorical teacher aims her pointer at her easel which tells us that an interjection is “A word or phrase spoken suddenly and used to show emotion.” The cats show you they can be found “in different parts of speech” like pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and nouns. Of course some cats know all about interjections because they’ve studied, but some get wide-eyed with surprise. “These words are little signs to show / When meaning should be stressed. / Like ‘oh my gosh! I didn’t know / today we’ve got a test!’”
You’ll learn that they can “help us to express our pain or joy” or add a little zip-a-dee-doo-dah to our language. Zap! Pow! Pop! They can draw attention to a situation, can be used to express grief, or are “useful when you want to show amazement, awe, or shock.” Those little words like oh, um, and ah can be very expressive interjections. “Oh! Can show surprise or pain / and works as well with pleading / Like, ‘Oh! Oh! Oh! Please call on me. / I’d love to do this reading.’” The CATegorical cats will guide you through this book with lots of pizzazz and without a doubt you’ll certainly know what an interjection is by the time the last page is turned. Wow!
This is a fun, exiting way to introduce a basic English grammar concept, the interjection. If you haven’t met any of the CATegorical cats before, you simply don’t know what you are missing. This is one in the series, “Words Are CATegorical” that give a lot of spice to the standard grammar lesson. The wild and sometimes crazy cats dance their way through these pages right along with a very unique rhyming scheme that introduces each concept. The interjections are highlighted in color for easy identification in the sentences they are included in. The lively and somewhat zany, colorful artwork meshes perfectly with each “lesson” or concept that Cleary is trying to get across. I’ve seen children from the reluctant learner to the gifted who are charmed and enticed by this series.
Quill says: This book, or any in the series, would make an excellent addition to any homeschool, library, or classroom shelf!