Sunday, November 24, 2019

I Yam Who I Yam! You Loves Ewe! by Cece Bell

"Hey, donkeys!" says Donkey.

It's a lovely bucolic scene. Sheep is grazing, and Yam the grammarian-in-chief is pontificating, as usual.
Yam points out that neither of them is a donkey. He himself is a yam and his herbivorous companion is a fluffy ewe, doing what ewes do best--look cute and eat grass.

But Donkey doesn't do homonyms.
"I yam confused. Yam I yam, or yam I ain't, cute and fluffy?"

Yam gives it another try, explaining that the grammatical way to pose that question would be "Am I cute and fluffy?"

Donkey looks at Yam and doesn't bother being polite.
You is short and lumpy.

Sheep tries to help out by holding up her hand-written placard that says EWE. Donkey corrects Yam's pronunciation, pointing out that EWE spells EE-WEE! Yam goes into his standard lecture on homonyms, words that sound alike but have different meanings: Doe and Dough, Hair and Hare, etc., etc., etc.!

And if you think this grammar lesson is going nowhere, just wait until Ram makes his entrance and is struck instantly with Ewe's woolly charms. Now everyone is in love with Ewe. What to do?

But while Donkey is a bit dense with homonyms, he gets affairs of the heart. He points out that Ewe gets to choose. Does Ewe love Ram? She spells it out for them all.

It's the wonderful world of wordplay, in Cece Bell's forthcoming easy reader, You Loves Ewe! (A Yam and Donkey Book) in this semi-educational sequel to her first comical Yam and Donkey story, I Yam a Donkey! (A Yam and Donkey Book), specializing in some of the goofier aspects of our native language (just be glad he didn't work in the homonym YEW into the text), while her delightfully daffy black line cartoon illustrations make the best of this woolly-headed tale of the fine points of our mother tongue. After all, we English speakers do specialize in puns.

Ewer kids are gonna love it!

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