Book Review: Ann and Nan are Anagrams by Mark Shulman & Adam McCauley

Ann and NanRobert’s grandma is teaching him about anagrams, or words and phrases where the letters can be mixed up to form different words and phrases. She says, “Anagrams are easy to SPOT, but hard to STOP.“ Those four letters can also create TOPS, POTS and POST. Robert (or Bert) says, “Her mixed-up WORDS hit me like a SWORD.”

It’s all part of the word play in Ann and Nan are Anagrams: A Mixed-Up Word Dilemma by Mark Shulman and Adam McCauley. Multiple anagrams are on every page. For instance, Robert says, I FLED to a FIELD, which was QUITE QUIET. I watched a BUTTERFLY FLUTTER BY just BELOW my ELBOW. It’s easy to spot the anagrams because they are in all caps, and parents and their kids will have fun rearranging the letters themselves to make sure each anagram works.

In addition to Robert’s words, illustrations on each page often sneak a few anagrams in. For instance, Robert’s teacher has written on the blackboard: Eleven Plus Two = Twelve Plus One. And he peers through a glass-window door where readers can see the words GOLD ROACHES GRADE SCHOOL, written in reverse. In all, over 100 anagrams can be found throughout the book.

The story is fun to follow along with, and it’s a great stepping off point for kids who are learning to spell to create their own anagrams from other common words they know.

The publisher gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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