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

Common Sense Media says

Silly sentences keep kids laughing without pause.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even kids with no interest in grammar are going to love this funny book. Clear examples show why a simple thing like comma placement can put a whole new spin on a sentence.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Clever examples show the importance of correct comma placement.

Is it any good?


Lynne Truss refocuses her best-selling adult book, which shares the same main title, to make it accessible to young readers. Kids may walk away from this book understanding the important way a simple thing like a comma can make or break a sentence -- or they may just get a few good laughs. Truss alters a sentence, placing one version on a page and another version -- with different comma use -- on the opposite. page Commas are highlighted in red for quick identification, and the book's simple, silly drawings help kids figure out how the sentences have changed.

Even kids who are too young to have an interest in punctuation will like the funny pictures, especially the woman who bounces right out of her seat on the page that reads, "Eat here and get gas." Readers who want a more detailed explanation can flip to the back where a handy chart explains how comma placement changes meaning.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their own silly samples of comma placement gone bad. Or they can go through other favorite books and try moving commas around to see what kinds of disastrous examples they can create.

Book details

Author:Lynne Truss
Illustrator:Bonnie Timmons
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:September 10, 2006
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8

This review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 10 year old Written byetgdfdc September 20, 2010

a review

i love the book it is good to share with youre kids
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written bypeony April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Entertaining presentation of some points of grammar

Kids would likely need to be 8 or so to get much out of the grammar discussion, but for them it's a funny presentation and they'll probably learn something. I'd also recommend it to adults. I think this kid version is a better book than the adult version: it gets across some of the main points in a much more concise format.
Teen, 13 years old Written bycrazy4books January 26, 2012

Humorous comma book

This is a cute story and a great way to teach kids the importance of commas. This book shows the humorous misuse of commas. This book also contains amusing, effective illustrations.
What other families should know
Educational value


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