Author: Gordon Bushell
Illustrator: Kristine Lucco
Publisher: Trimark Press, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-9886145-0-5

Hi, I’m Mike, your Punctuation TV reporter. Reports are that all writing could be in danger! The Period is unhappy. She was not at breakfast this morning. Just minutes ago, I spoke to some of the Punctuation Gang. Roll the tape!” Gordon Bushell writes in his children’s book, Panic in Punctuation Land.

At forty pages, this over-sized hardback targets young readers of early elementary school age, focusing on the proper use of punctuation. With the story about various colored punctuation marks, there is no profanity or scary scenes. Illustrator Lucco’s bright, bold designs are included on almost every page with black wording against white backgrounds. 

In this silly but instructional tale, the Punctuation Gang is usually a great, happy group of marks. However, the Comma complains of a bad back, wishing it was straighter. Taught that all marks are important in writing, it is noted the Period is missing.

After a news report stating how important the Period is at the end of almost every sentence, the Quotation Marks, Question Mark, and Exclamation Mark are concerned. When the Period is found safe, she is sad and distraught because she feels her appearance is boring, dull, and without any pizzazz. 

The Quotations, Parentheses, Comma, Semicolon, and Colon try to tell the Period how significant she is, but she insists on going to the printer for a make-over. It is big news when the Period returns completely changed, upsetting the Punctuation Gang.

As the other marks fantasize what would happen if they also changed their looks, the Period realizes the importance of her simplicity. In the meantime, the Comma is too injured to help sentences, so another mark in the gang helps until he is healed. 

Although silly to the core, the concept of each punctuation mark being vital is not only a good lesson about proper writing, it emphasizes that we humans are valuable as individuals too.

Bushell’s simple but creative tome that explains the uses of most punctuation marks is charming and educational as it teaches correct writing skills. Both young and old writers will recall the book’s charm next time they pick up a pencil to add a period or other punctuation mark in a sentence.

Thanks to Trimark Press and Bookpleasures for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

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