#1147 – The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar by Heidi Fiedler & Brendan Kearney

9781633222960 The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar: An Awesomely Fun Guide to the Way We Use Words!
Series: Know-Nonsense Series
Written by Heidi Fiedler
Illustrations by Brendan Kearney
Walter Foster, Jr.   4/01/2017
64 pages   Ages 8+

“Fuzzy on punctuation? Banboozled by adverbs? Perplexed by the difference between idioms and irony? That’s totally understandable! But thinking you have to muddle your way through this confusion on your own? That’s utter nonsense!

“This Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar is packed with simple definitions, memorable examples, and funny illustrations that make the rules of language easy to understand. Learn about the basic rules of grammar and parts of speech, and discover the literary devices that make good writers great. Along the way things may get a little loopy, but have no fear! While you’re laughing, you’ll also be learning. With a little practice, you’ll go from knowing nothing to being a total grammar know-it-all!” [BACK COVER]

When it comes to literary appreciation and grammar, Explore & Develop offers a wide range of reading programs for preschoolers. Check out their website to see Explore & Develop locations near you.

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[WC 555]
The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar has three major sections: Parts of Speech, Grammar, and Literary Devices. The illustration below gives the complete contents.
Each section contains the rule stated in capital letters, a paragraph explaining each part, and a sentence correctly using the part. To the right, is an image or a scene describing the use of the part of speech, grammar, or literary device being explained, and the character that represented it in the introduction to that section.

The first section, Parts of Speech, does a good job explaining nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, pronouns, and conjunctions. The explanations are straightforward and can help young readers, ages eight and above, improve their knowledge of each part.

Though the title tells us this book is a guide to grammar, grammar must wait for the second section. Five areas are included: capitalization, collective nouns, the sequence of adjectives, punctuation, and commas. Once again, an introduction includes characters assigned to each rule, and those characters stare in an accompanying image.

Most explanations are understandable. But this sentence came at the end of Collective Nouns: “But as you’re sure to agree, the loveliest collective noun is a charm of words.” I looked high and low for “a charm of words” and found nothing stating a group of words, or a group of collective nouns, are called a “charm of words,” though there is a charm of finches, which are probably quite charming.
The last section explains Literary Devices, eleven in all, following the same pattern as the first two sections. Kids who are interested in writing stories will have an advantage after reading about the literary devices. Clichés, similes, analogies, and metaphors are explained in terms kids will easily understand. What is missing, and would be welcome, is a section comparing clichés and idioms. What makes then different when they can sound the same. For example, the author writes,

“English idioms are a dime a dozen and include when pigs fly, it’s raining cats and dogs, and party animal.”

Each of these could fit the explanation for a cliché.

“Clichés are expressions or phrases that are used so often people quickly understand what they mean, but are no longer original or interesting.”

When pigs fly, party animal, and dime a dozen are overused and instantly recognized. Why are they idioms and not clichés? Granted, not everything can be accomplished in one book, but one spread comparing and contrasting would have helped many kids truly understand the difference between a cliché and an idiom.
Kids will enjoy learning how to write correctly from The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar. Many will like the use of humor, images, and correct sentences and find they help them understand and remember parts of speech, grammar, and the literary devices. Some may not even know they are learning as they laugh at Fiedler’s humor or Kearney’s images. Both the text and the images are creative and imaginative.

Fiedler ends with a little reminder about becoming a know-it-all and how to act once you reach that level. Teachers may find The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar works great as an adjunct text. Kids will like the imaginative way each section and its parts are explained. Being picky, I would have placed the grammar section first, given the title of the book. Regardless, The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar can help kids better understand English and parents would be wise to grab a copy

THE KNOW-NONSENSE GUIDE TO GRAMMAR: AN AWESOMELY FUN GUIDE TO THE WAY WE USE WORDS! Text copyright © 2017 by Heidi Fiedler. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Brendan Kearney. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Walter Foster, Jr., Lake Forest, CA.

AmazonIndie BooksWalter Foster, Jr.


The Know-Nonsense Series*
1. The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar: An Awesomely Fun Guide to the Way We Use Words!
2. The Know-Nonsense Guide to Measurements: An Awesomely Fun Guide to How Things are Measured! (May 22, 2017)
3. The Know-Nonsense Guide to Money: An Awesomely Fun Guide to the Way We Use Currency (November 1, 2017)
*(emphasis mine)

Illustrations from THE KNOW-NONSENSE GUIDE TO GRAMMAR by Heidi Fiedler copyright © 2017 by Brendan Kearney. Used with permission from Walter Foster, Jr./Quarto Publishing Group.

Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar: An Awesomely Fun Guide to the Way We Use Words!
Series: Know-Nonsense Series
Written by Heidi Fiedler
Illustrations by Brendan Kearney
Walter Foster, Jr. 4/01/2017

Don’t forget, WIN 6 BOOKS! now until end of April! – every comment is worth an entry to KLR’s 6th anniversary giveaway. Win 6 of the books reviewed here on KLR. Enter daily. More information.

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6 thoughts on “#1147 – The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar by Heidi Fiedler & Brendan Kearney

  1. In Australia we say ‘full stop’ rather than period. I don’t know what the word is in the UK. We also spell with an ‘s’ e.g. capitalisation. Aussie idioms include having a barney or a blue (having an argument).


  2. Sue, to me, learning how to properly use the English language should be considered critical, especially in today’s world where proper speech is becoming more and more muddled :-\ Honestly, this book would probably also be invaluable for adults! Often times it’s the simplest explanations that help the meanings be understood 🙂 Great review, Sue! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heidi, The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar look like a fun book. Can’t wait until the Australian version comes out!


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