I love children’s books, and one of my favorite categories of children’s books (there are many!) are books that teach English in a fun way.  I learned about In a Pickle and Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terban when I was looking for kids books on idioms.  I highly recommend this book– almost all of the idioms are those that are commonly used, and there’s only one idiom per page spread.  Each idiom has a funny, full page illustration, a description of its  meaning, the history of the idiom, and an example of the idiom used in the sentence.  I’m going to add this book to my website for kids with Asperger’s.

Marvin Terban also wrote Mad As a Wet Hen and Other Funny Idioms, but I don’t like this book that much.  The pages are really cluttered and crowded– there are multiple idioms per page.  A number of the idioms are ones that people don’t use any more.  Still, if your child is really into idioms, it might be worth checking out from the library.  The idioms in this book are organized by category– animals, body parts, feelings, colors, food, and hats.  For example, “He escaped by the skin of his teeth” would be in the body parts section.

I’d really like to own a copy of Terban’s book, I Think I Thought and Other Tricky Verbs.  Each two-page spread gives an example of a verb used in the present tense and in the past tense.  All of the verbs are irregular– they don’t change into the past tense by adding “ed” at the end.  The sentences are silly, and they use alliteration and rhyme to make them even more fun.  For example, “Frederick freezes fruit pies in his freezer.  Fritizi froze her nose, which didn’t please her.”    There are funny illustrations to accompany each sentence.  This would be a good book to read to a younger child who’s still learning to use verbs properly when speaking.  It’s also a good resource for younger kids’ phonological awareness activites.  I think that slightly older kids would enjoy reading this book, too, and it would help them with their writing.

Have fun!

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