Publisher: Young Zubaan with Puffin
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Remember Wren and Martin? Squiggle Gets Stuck is as different a children’s grammar book as you can get.
What’s the book about?
Squiggle is a doodle, first seen in Squiggle Takes A Walk. She falls into a dictionary, meets a grammatically-challenged doodle called Doodle Dude, and proceeds to teach him to speak correct English.
Sounds a bit weird…
I’d use the word ‘refreshing’ instead. I was skeptical about a book that seemed to treat grammar so childishly, but actually, the premise works surprisingly well. The average urban kid would probably read the book cover to cover – which is saying quite a lot for what is, after all, a book on grammar.
Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs – the usual suspects are all there, explained in simple language and with a huge dose of humour (in the shape of the excessively stiff-upper-lipped Oxford English dictionary, who happens to be one of the characters in the book.) There are exercises… fill in the blanks, correct the sentences… at the back of the book.
So, should you read it?
Well, if your child is going to learn parts of speech this upcoming academic year, then Definitely. Or if they’ve just learnt it last year… the book might still be a good idea.
I did feel that the book might appeal only to kids with an urban sensibility. (I know, I know… with unlimited resources available to every kid in every corner of the country, is there anything such as ‘urban sensibility’ that can be clearly identified?) But let me give you an example. Doodle Dude looked and sounded like a surfer dude to me… he said ‘Man’ a lot, at the beginning, before being reformed by Squiggle’s good example into speaking chaste Queen’s English. Would the humour therein reach every child? I have my doubts.
With all its faults, Squiggle Gets Stuck still makes the cut because of how much fun it is. With it’s bold illustrations, storybook approach and clear examples, this is an interesting way to introduce kids to grammar.
Want to know more about the author? Here you go. If you want to check out some more books for kids along similar lines, try Bookasura: The Adventures of Bala and the Book – Eating Monster and The Incredible Book Eating Boy.