Review of Ann and Nan Are Anagrams, by Mark Shulman and Adam McCauley

Ann and Nan Are Anagrams

A Mixed-Up Word Dilemma

by Mark Shulman
illustrated by Adam McCauley

Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2013. 32 pages.

This book is terribly silly, but it makes me laugh. Throughout the story, there are words and phrases that are anagrams of one another, set off with the same typeface as the other part of the pair.

Robert (or Bert)’s Grandma Reagan tells him about anagrams. Then she says:

”Anagrams are easy to SPOT
But hard to STOP.
Now take the TOPS
off the POTS
hurry to the POST office,
and bring me your AUNT.
She’s A NUT.”

Robert doesn’t even have an aunt! GRANDMA REAGAN is in ANAGRAM DANGER!

You can tell the story isn’t exactly profound. But, combined with the exuberant pictures and more than 101 anagrams hidden in the book, it’s still a lot of fun.

I like some of the products sitting on the kitchen shelves: Old Nose Noodles, A Mean Noisy Mayonnaise, Mad Scrubber Bread Crumbs, and Eats? Ouch Hot Sauce.

Some of the anagrams are really a stretch, such as Nature’s Rat Restaurant. But it’s all in good fun, and kids will have fun spotting them all.

Of course, when he sees that his sisters’ names are anagrams (using the title phrase), he cries out, “Sister, resist!”

If you like word play, it’s hard to resist this silly book.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

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