Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really DO Make a Difference!
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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really DO Make a Difference!

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  914 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Young and young-at-heart sticklers, unite! Lynne Truss and illustrator Bonnie Timmons provide hilarious proof that punctuation really does matter.

Illuminating the comical confusion the lowly comma can cause, this new edition of Eats, Shoots & Leaves uses lively, subversive illustrations to show how misplacing or leaving out a comma can change the meaning of a sentenc

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 14th 2006 by Profile Books Ltd (first published 2006)
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Kwesi 章英狮
What if one day when you wake up, God disintegrate all the commas in the world even erase it inside the mind of all the people living inside this small spherical world called Earth, and God only give you one copy of Lynne Truss’ book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves to survive. Can you help the commas survive or you will be one of those people who are planning to dominate the world by commas? Be one of us, be the Comma Fighters.

It is very hard to accept that commas are one of the most used and most ea...more
Nov 21, 2008 Lara's rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 4th-8th grade
Synopsis : You might want to eat a huge hotdog, but a huge, hot dog would run away pretty quickly if you tried to take a bite out of him. Just look inside to see how forgetting to include a comma or placing one in the wrong spot can completely change the meaning of a sentence--with hilarious consequences.
Review : I wish I had had this book when I was in 4th grade (I wish I had had this book when I was in 12th grade). But, I'll tell you what, I'm glad I found it now. It's really a wonderful reso...more
Woody Calhoon
Let me get this out of the way as soon as possible, this book has absolutely zero story, but that's a GOOD thing. When I read this book in class, I knew I wouldn't be expecting some grand, epic journey, instead I looked at what the book was, a teaching and reference guide, and judged it by that. And you know what? It's pretty good.

The book uses a lot of creative art to illustrate for kids how misplaced commas can affect the meaning of an entire sentence. The art may not be colored, but it is fu...more
I love English, especially its flexibility. Maybe because it has roots in so many different languages (Latin, German, French, and early Brit and Celt just to mention a few), it always seems to be able to absorb any word without it looking silly or jarring to the eye or ear. If you have ever seen a French sentence using a word like Coca-Cola, you'll know what I mean.

However, I don't have the same love of punctuation. I have a tendency to throw in commas willy-nilly, hoping they're in the right pl...more
This book contained a dozen or so examples of how things can go wrong if you put your commas in the wrong place, or omit them entirely, with humorous results. I admit it was pretty clever, and they managed to find a lot of variations on this theme, but it was much, much shorter than I imagined, which kind of raises the question of whether this idea should have been turned into a book at all. I noticed that it also comes as a wall calendar, which might make more sense. Still I enjoyed what there...more
This was a hoot and nicely illustrated. The best part was at the end when they explained grammatically what was happening in the sentences with and without commas.
As a homeschooler I love educational yet engaging picture books. My 2nd grader is not a kid who takes well to formal lessons or having his work corrected, and he is just starting to do some creative writing of his own accord, so I don't want to ruin it by correcting his work. This book had him laughing hysterically and he totally understood how the comma placement changed the meanings. The author has two other similar books called The Girl's Like Spaghetti and Twenty-Odd Ducks.
Could not find the longer version on Goodreads but it seems obvious that, people who have seen me having this as my current read for a while, it is not the 32 page children's book i have been reading!

Very funny, a pleasant way of introducing (or refreshing your memory) punctuation, no wonder it became a bestseller. Did anybody happen to notice the ironic inconsistency and inaccuracies that Truss made?
Jordan Brown
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves
Author: Lynne Truss
Reading Level: ages 5-9

Truss, Lynne (2006) Eats, Shoots, and Leaves New York: Putnam Juvenile

This book is about why punctuation matters. Naturally, when playing with commas, things can get funny quick. Children will get a kick out of this book, and adults could enjoy this tamer experience to Eats, Shoots, and Leaves as well.

This book would be a great tool for English lessons. Even though it's geared towards very young children, I feel this book could be...more
I loved this book. I dont' remember it too well but love grammatical rants. The rutles are being flaunted everywhere especially in the media and on line.
Yusra Faridi
This is a wonderfully hilarious book that explains the importance of commas and huge difference they can make in a sentence. One mistake with a comma can completely alter or change the meaning of a sentence. For example, "I'm hungry. Let's eat, Mom!" is completely different than saying "I'm hungry. Let's eat Mom!" In writing children can enjoy a good laugh by looking at the difference one misplacement of a comma can make. However, it also teaches a practical literacy lesson to the students. I wo...more
I heard that this was such a witty, charming entertaining book, and it is not unusual for me to become deeply engaged in issues of grammar, usage, and mechanics, so it seemed like a great match for me. I've been meaning to read it for a long time. But...I already know and use daily the rules she laid out (except that you use an apostrophe when you pluralize words like "and" and "but," as words, which still seems really odd to me), so I wasn't interested in reading entire chapters embellishing on...more
Erin Reilly-Sanders
This was highly entertaining with funny illustrations of common comma grammar errors. While the idea and the humour was great, the book does have some problems. I dislike that you don't find the explanation of the error until you reach the appendix in the back. I think it would have been much more appropriate to include each explanation on the page it refers to in smaller type than the main sentence. While the colours on the cover are bright and appealing, the quality of the illustrations inside...more
I loved this book. A self-confessed comma momma, I get carried away using this form of punctuation sometimes. Oops, there I go again!

It was part of the juvenile fiction at our local library but mentally-challenged adults (like me!) can benefit from this book, too. It is easy to read and understand. Ms. Truss takes the same phrase or sentence and uses a comma with one and shows it without one on the second page. A picture is included to show you what a difference it makes. Lastly, there are two p...more
Harold Ogle
Another collection of alternating uses of punctuation that demonstrate how the same sentence is modified for hilarious results, in this case depending on where you put a comma. This has all the strengths of "Girl's Like Spaghetti," except perhaps that the apostrophe is more egregiously misused. Certainly I see fewer awful errors with commas than I see with apostrophes.

But the book is great, and also has the two-page summary of the contents of the book, which would work nicely as a poster for a c...more
Nov 26, 2011 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English teachers, parents, anyone wanting to learn grammar rules
Lynne Truss has adapted her semi-famous book Eats, Shoots, & Leaves into three picture books (so far). What a great way to visually illustrate the impact punctuation has on the meaning of sentences! The rules really are quite simple and greatly enhance communication, and yet so many people screw them up constantly. This book puts the same sentence side by side on facing pages but changes the commas and uses illustrations to demonstrate the different meanings. Then at the end, there are two p...more
Julian Franklin
This book contains different information about how commas can make a difference and how they can change the meaning of a sentence. For a lesson, I would use this book to teach about the importance of commas. I would have several sentences prepared and I would ask the students to write the commas in where they should go. We would then see if the sentences makes sense with where the commas were placed. Then the students would be encouraged to attempt comma usage in their own writing.
This book can provoke some giggles, thanks to Bonnie Timmons' lovely illustrations. The opposing pages feature two differently-punctuated versions of the same sentence, with vivid differences in how the scene is illustrated from the addition or subtraction of a single comma.

It's basically a book attempting to continue the whole: "Let's eat, Grandma!" versus "Let's eat Grandma...." approach to pointing out the importance of punctuation with humor.
Hoang Shin
This book is so hilarious!It shows how commas can make such a big difference in what your message is. The misplacement of a comma can totally change the meaning of a sentence. The illustrations in the book are really funny, too!
This book would be a really fun book to read to young writers. The illustrations make it really easy to understand the importance of proper comma placement.
Truss, L. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! Putnam Juvenile (2006).
Illustrated by Bonnie Timmons

This colorful picture book is a reading level of grades 4-7th who can use it to better understand the correct placement of commas, and other grammar specifics that will help them not only on current assignments, but in the future.
Erin Ingold
This is a great story to incorporate into a language arts lesson! The story is a comical book that teaches students about how commas are important. Misusing or misplacing commas in a sentence can greatly change the meaning of the sentence. This story also helps students with reading fluency and how language can be incorporated into many different kids of books. Students will enhance their reading and writing ability. I would definitely recommend this story to any teacher!
Grade/interest level: Primary
Reading level: 380L (
Genre: Information
Main Characters: n/a
Setting: n/a
POV: n/a

"Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is an adaption from the adult novel about grammar. In this version, students learn about commas through humorous situations, with illustrations to match. Each illustraion shows how the meaning of sentences change depending on where the comma is placed. For instance,

"Slow, children crossing." vs. "Slow children crossing"

"Go, get him doctors!" vs. "Go ge...more
This book teaches a great lesson about sentence punctuation. I wish the whole world could read it and apply what it teaches, especially my Facebook friends. It uses clever changes of punctuation in the same sentence to show how it changes the meaning of the sentence. The illustrations reflect how the meaning changes so that readers can literally see the difference. It is my favorite language book of all the ones I have read.
Thirteen colorful and cartoonish vignettes, in picture book format, designed to make commas, and grammar, fun for 6 - 8 year olds. Each scene shows that the use and placement of a comma, or the absence of one, makes all the difference, changing the meaning of the same set of words, entirely. If they are still struggling with the rules of punctuation, kids will pause (uh, yeah, pause) to stop and think before they understand the humor. Read it to to an older child who has mastered the subtleties...more
Brittany Spahr
I think this is a great book because it shows how punctuation can change the meaning of the sentence without changing the words. It had sentences the children can understand both the meanings by seeing the pictures. IT was funny to see some of the meanings in the book.
Natasha Ence
I thought this book was fantastic because it visually displayed how commas effect sentences. It is a good way to teach the important of commas. This book, although meant for younger ages, is one that I would use in a high-school classes to make the point.
This is a great little book to teach grammar to little kids and the examples are perfect for the younger kids.

Funny enough this book is perfect for high school Pre AP kids. How? It tackles that gnarly little concepts that trip up my students.What I like to do with this book is use it as a warm up or intro to syntax along with other books from the same author. When students see the manipulation of grammar and words the idea of syntax becomes easier for them to understand as opposed to the strict...more
This picture book was really enjoyable to read for my inner grammar Nazi. It made commas funny and as I was reading this book, all I could think of was the differences between, "Let's eat, Grandma!" and "Let's eat Grandma!" This book is really great for teaching kids and writers alike where commas go. Sometimes I forget too and add WAY too many commas to my writing!
Imagine brogues, thick, wrinkled tights (spray-tan brown) and a tweed jacket and walnut whipped hair. That's an archetype of an Olde Schoole English teacher that lives inside my brain and belittles me constantly regarding my foggy recollection of when to use a semi-colon over a colon, a comma and an apostrophe. Lynne Truss embodies that archetype here, school ma'amish to the core. She badger us, trills at us, shrills too, but in a wonderful, humorous way. I learnt lots about the propoer use of t...more
Potential Problems: None
Personal Response: I love it and actually want to get it to teach everyone I come in contact with, most importantly my future students and children.
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Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women's Journal...more
More about Lynne Truss...
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door Eats, Shoots and Leaves 2007 The Girl's Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can't Manage without Apostrophes! Cat Out of Hell

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