Picture Book Review – Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal


Picture Book Summary + Review

Exclamation Mark, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, is a picture book that has excellent potential for use in middle school classrooms. I really enjoyed it!

Exclamation mark (Exclamation Mark?) doesn’t fit in with the periods. He stands out, literally and figuratively. 🙂 One day he meets a question mark who helps him learn his purpose as punctuation. In the end, he realizes it’s not a bad thing to be different from others.

I loved Lichetenheld’s simple yet bold illustrations. The cartoony punctuation marks will make readers smile. I chuckled when I opened to the first page and saw that the illustrations and text appear to be layered over top of the lined penmanship paper many of us can remember from our primary school days. (Check out the video below for samples of the pages.)

Rosenthal keeps the text pretty simple, but she incorporates some really clever play on words. For example, Rosenthal points out that the exclamation mark is different from the periods by writing that “he just wasn’t like everyone else. Period.” Older students (and their teachers!) will appreciate this subtle humor.

Instructional Uses for Secondary Classes

-Study of punctuation mark uses!

-Puns. Rosenthal’s wordplay in this book is really fun, and older students may catch on to it better than elementary students.

-Types of sentences, including interjections.

-Climax, and other narrative plot structures. This book has a very clear turning point, as do many picture books, so this may be an easier way to study climax with students who are confused by the concept.

-Theme. For the same reasons as teaching climax, the lesson or theme of Exclamation Mark is made very clear to students.

Book Talks/Promotion

Book Trailer:

Web Resources:

Hey look! You can download a free book(exclamation)mark here!


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