English / USA

Exclamation mark

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse (text)
Lichtenheld, Tom (illus.)
New York: Scholastic Press, 2014. – [48] p.
ISBN 978-0-545-43679-3

Outsider | Loneliness | Search for identity | Self-confidence

Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have worked together on picture books, such as the award-winning ≫Duck! Rabbit!≪, but also published independently.

Their latest collaboration tackles a common topic: the outsider’s fear of not fitting in. However, they discuss this problem in a fairly unusual way. True, their protagonist is a somewhat shy, lonely creature who struggles with being different. However, this being is not a small child or a cute animal, as one might expect, but rather a feature of punctuation. Feeling too conspicuous in a group of full stops, the exclamation mark tries its best to fit in and longs to find its place in the world – which it does eventually, thanks to the help of the boisterous question mark. Rendered in a reduced graphic style of mostly black-and-white print on a creamy lined background, the quest for its true self culminates in a colourful double-page spread featuring exclamations such as ≫Go!≪, ≫Cool!≪, and ≫Home run!≪. (Age: 4+)