O-Pun the Book

Samuel Johnson said, “Puns are the lowest form of humor.” If this is true, then my humor is stuck on the bottom of a barrel. I love puns. I love to hear them. I love to use them. I love to read them. They’re jest punny.

I especially enjoy reading books by authors who use puns in their writing. For me, that makes reading the book aloud to a group twice as much fun. It’s also a perfect way to introduce wordplay to students. Here are three of my favorites.

O-pun Book One

On Tuesday I read Library Dragon written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Michael P. White to my third graders. Before beginning, we discussed puns and wordplay. I had a burning desire for my students to appreciate Deedy’s humor. I fired them up by throwing out a few puns of my own.

Library Dragon is filled with creative wordplay. When a school advertises for a librarian who is thick-skinned, is on fire with enthusiasm, and will help stop book damage and loss, Miss Lotta Scales is hired. The problem is Miss Lotta Scales is a real dragon and takes her job description literally. She refuses to let anyone touch a book. Teachers are hot under the collar about the situation. When a little girl teaches Miss Scales the value of sharing a book and a story, the librarian sheds her scales, and the children warm up to her. Deedy and White both have a knack for using wordplay in text and illustrations to make this one hot book!

O-pun Book Two

You haven’t seen a real silly billy until you’ve seen The Three Silly Billies written by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Barry Moser.  When Troll at the Trollgate Plaza won’t let the Three Silly Billies cross the bridge because they don’t have enough “cents,” the Silly Billies decide to form a car pool to share the toll. They blow up a pool, jump in, and wait for others to join them. Troll thinks they’re all wet. But when the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack all jump into the car pool, enough money is collected to cross the bridge, and the grumpy Troll is left to deal with a Giant problem of his own. Palatini’s text is filled with catchy language and moves along quickly to maintain interest. This book will tickle your punny bone!

O-pun Book Three

Candace Fleming is prolific when it comes to writing picture books, novels, stories, and biographies. She knows how to entertain readers. One of my favorite books is The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School. Talk about punny! The author has filled the pages with colorful characters such as Mr. Frost, who has white hair, Ms. Bucky, who grinds her teeth, Miss Playwright, the drama teacher, Ham Samitch, who loves to eat, Victoria Sovaine, who loves herself, and Ms. Paige Turner, the librarian. Then there’s the new teacher, Mr. Jupiter, who is there to whip the challenging fourth grade class into shape. He’s an out-of-this-world teacher! At the end of each chapter, readers will find a moral as Candace Fleming takes them on a hilarious romp through the halls of Aesop Elementary School.

Ms. Paige Turner might agree the moral of this blog post is to grab a book you enjoy and read it!

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