Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Learning | Figures of Speech

Word nerd that I am, I have a particular fondness for books about  figures of speech.

"You are my sunshine" from Skin Like Milk, Hair of Silk
The author/illustrator team of Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable write a few series of non-fiction picture books. One is Math is CATegorical. Their figure of speech book, Skin Like Milk, Hair of Silk: What are Similes and Metaphors? is part of the Words Are CATegorical series. A visit to Brian P. Cleary's interactive website reveals that he also considers himself a word nerd. Brian Gable is better known as an editorial cartoonist. Perhaps that's why he is so good at making visual representations of concepts.

"They swim across a river that's as cold as...." from Crazy Like a Fox
There's a an author/illustrator named Loreen Leedy, who writes picture books on quite a few non-fiction subjects.  She has a knack for making learning fun, whether the subject of the book is recycling, arithmetic, or symmetry.  Leedy began her artistic career making animal-themed jewelry out of polymer clay, and was later inspired to make picture books using those animal characters. Naturally, she has a few books illustrating figures of speech that are well worth your time.

"She chases after Rufus because she's as mad as..."  from Crazy Like a Fox
Crazy Like a Fox : a Simile Story is just that--an entire story, told with similes. Similes are figures of speech that compare two things with "like" or "as."  The main characters are a fox named Rufus and a sheep named Babette. Rufus is sneaking around, and he has a job to do; what is it, and how is Babette involved?

The book is prefaced by a nice discussion of similes, and the last page lists some great ideas for practicing the usage of the figure of speech.

Bug sayings from There's a Frog in My Throat!
There's a Frog in My Throat!: 440 animal sayings a little bird told me 

Oh, my! Four hundred and forty animal sayings?  What more could a word nerd desire?  This book is full of similes, metaphors, idioms and proverbs, all of which are English language sayings. 

Loreen Leedy partners with collage artist Pat Street on this book, and the result just makes me as happy as a pig in the mud.  Every page has a theme, such as cats or bugs, and it's full of illustrations and captions with translations into regular speech. Since there are so many sayings in this book, the index at the back is designed to help you locate the expressions using a specific subject. 

I must say, Pat Street certainly sounds like a soul-mate of mine. She has been collecting sayings for over two decades. No wonder she has 440 animal sayings to share in that book!


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