First, let me say, I love the old school writing paper look of the book. All the pages are the newsprint with the blue lines and dotted lines that kids are using in elementary school even today. Even the title is simple: ! Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld is about an exclamation mark who just wants to fit in, but the only time he doesn’t stand out is when he is sleeping. He tries hard to fit in, but it doesn’t work, he still stands out. One day he meets ? (Question Mark) who peppers him with endless questions until he yells STOP! Both ! and ? were pretty impressed with his exclamation. So he tries again, first small, then bigger and bigger until he is exclaiming all kinds of phrases: That’s Great! Happy Birthday! Bravo! He could not wait to show his friends what he could do. His friends were sure he could do it along.
This is a great story about finding your talents and using them. It is also a great fun to read aloud. The Sonoma County Library has a few copies. Scholastic has the reading level listed as second grade.