05 February 2016

Fun Language Arts Books for Kids

As a homeschool momma and lover of words, I totally geek out when it comes to choosing language arts books for the Agents. Following are some of the selections that I . . . I mean they . . . have enjoyed the most.

These two dozen or so books provide a great introduction to the parts of speech and basic grammar concepts. They are all roughly 30 pages and have lots of illustrations with only a sentence or two on each spread. Simple enough for early elementary (K or 1st) yet my 4th grader still finds them entertaining. He also writes The Punctuation Station, a fun journey of animals trying to find their way to the correct train with the help of savvy punctuation marks.

We love this series from Basher Books by Simon Basher and Mary Budzik. They run approximately 60 pages and are recommended for ages 8 and up. Each concept is introduced by a different character or group of characters {e.g., the Divide and Conquer Crew covers parentheses, dashes, hyphens ellipses, colons, and semicolons}. The chapters are relatively short, but you could also easily just read one page a day {in order, or not}.

Lynne Truss writes these cool punctuation books, which illustrate quite comically just how important punctuation can be, and what happens when you get it wrong. They are all an easy, one-sitting read aimed at grades 1 through 4. {Yes, it’s the same Lynne Truss who wrote the “grown up” version of Eats, Shoots & Leaves a while back.}

Robin Pulver takes a humorous look at the English language in these books, which cover parts of speech, spelling, and punctuation. The first four are about Mr. Wright’s class, in which a group of elementary students come to appreciate just how important good grammar is. These are picture books, but appropriate {and fun} for older elementary students as well.

World of Language by Ruth Heller

Samples titles from the series:

Ruth Heller offers a beautifully illustrated collection of picture books about the parts of speech. Flipping through these texts, you won’t be surprised to learn that she also publishes a series of coloring books.

Samples titles from the series:

Cute characters and short sentences make the Language Rules! series another great option for learning parts of speech, spelling, and sentence structure. The Magic of Language series, while similar, is not as “cutesy” and geared toward older elementary.

I have to admit I kind of struggled over this purchase. First, I wondered, with the proliferation of online dictionary and spell check options, was navigating a paper dictionary even a skill the Agents needed to have? Then once I decided that yes, I did intend to include this as part of our curriculum, I became overwhelmed with the shear number of choices aimed at children from preschool to high school.

I finally decided on this one because I wanted something age-appropriate that would work for them right now without being too childish {like the picture dictionaries} or too overwhelming {like the intermediate selections}. Truth is, they may “outgrow" it by middle school, but for 1st through 5th grade it’s at the perfect level.

Of all the children’s creative writing books we’ve tried, the girls like this one the best. It includes step-by-step guidelines for young wannabe authors to plan, draft, edit, and illustrate their own works.

There have been many more that we’ve read along the way, but these have been consistent favorites during our homeschooling journey. Most we have checked out of the library multiple times, and will probably continue to do so each year as a review.


  1. We Love the Categorical series!

    1. His other books are great, too. He has a math series as well, and a collection of poetry in sort of a Shel Silverstein-ish style. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. Brain P. Cleary books are the bomb! We LOVE them! Thanks for sharing some of your other books. I will add them to our list. #HipHomeschoolBlogHop

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Erin. Have a great week.