ForeWord Reviews

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ABC School Riddles

Foreword Review — May / June 2001

I start with a V and end with a Y. / The more you know of me, the higher you’ll fly. / I’m the words that you use in any subject you choose. / Study me for a quiz, and you’ll be a whiz. / You’ll do great on your test and score above the rest. / Your grades will be high. / Can you guess? What am I?

This engaging rhyming word riddle by one of the student winners of a nationwide contest is typical of the language fun this book offers. If readers guessed “vocabulary,” they are ready to create their own. Each of the twenty-six puzzles, one for every letter of the alphabet, begins with letter and word clues. The colorful artwork is helpful when the riddle is especially tricky, such as this one: “I start with a J and end with an L. / When you write in me, you learn how to spell. / You can draw and doodle too, / anything you want to do. / Put ideas in me / only your eyes will see. / What, oh what, can I be?”

For readers still scratching their heads with something wooden that “starts with a P and ends with an L,” the answer to the “J” riddle is “journal.” The border around the journal page is comprised of the familiar black-and-white pattern of composition notebook covers. The “P” riddle is illustrated by a range of pencil point peaks.

Here’s another hint about guessing the alphabet riddles: The answers all have to do with school, such as homework, intercom, nurse, uniform, and yearbook. For the truly stumped, answers are provided at the back of the book.

In a note to parents and teachers, the author explains that she had dyslexia as a child. Her family “believed that children could learn language lessons and be entertained at the same time” so they invented a game they called Alphabet Riddles. She suggests that children can be encouraged to create their own by following the same format presented in the book. The game can be easily played at school, at home, or on trips.

As vocabulary is enriched, spelling is learned, and minds are stimulated, youngsters should do better in the place that “starts with an S and ends with an L.”

Linda Salisbury