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The Picture Book Buzz

May I Have A Word? - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Ever wonder how the letters on you fridge get all swirled around? Maybe they move on their own to spell words or fight over sounds. Having played with these fridge letters for hours with my younger siblings, I have a soft spot for this book. If you want some inside scoop about Caron Levis, check out my interview with her on May 22, 2017.

Who hasn't had trouble learning to spell words with c and k, g and j, and c and s? Not to mention those crazy silent letters? English can be hard to learn. Caron and Andy have a riotously great time playing with this problem. Who knew fridge magnets had so much to say.

May I Have A Word?

Author: Caron Levis

Illustrator: Andy Rash

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2017)

Age: 4 - 8


Spelling, phonics, cooperation, and friendship.

Synopsis (From Barnes & Noble):

A battle of the magnet letters ensues across the refrigerator door in May I Have a Word when C and K get into a fight about who gets to start the cooler (kooler?) words. When the two letters storm off in opposite directions, everything is turned upside down. SOCKS are now SO, there aren't any CLOCKS to TICK or TOCK, and the world is just out of LUCK--until other letters work to bring C and K back together again.

Opening Lines:

Once upon a refriderator, the letters of the alphabet gathered together to tell a story.

WHOM should our story be about? wondered W.

How a bout a CAT? suggested C.

What about a KITTEN? exclaimed K.

Why I like the Book?

Acting like children, C and K argue over who gets the best words or whether C actually stole K"s sound. Finally, they refuse to be next to each other. Which results in catastophy - no ducks, clocks, or socks. But worst of all, no more "luck" in the world, merely "lu."

When N shows K that he's truly important, even in his surly, stony silence. K begins to understand a little about cooperation.

K informs C he needs him to help finish the story. Curious, C cooperates to help spell "knickers." Embolden by their success, they tell another funny story and vow to stick together.

This is such a fun way to play with spelling and the concept of cooperation. Andy's googly eye, expressive faces are hilarious on their own, but they liven the story and make it irresistably fun to spell. I expect fridge letters to make a resurgence. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find a few faces on those letters. The learning is so cleaverly hidden in kid-like art, funny letters, and a delightful story. This is sure to be a book read over and over.

Related Activities:

- explore the use of C and K in a multisensory activity (

- use fridge letters to experiment with spelling c and k, and maybe some ck words.

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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