Cover image for Fantastic! wow! and unreal! : a book about interjections and conjunctions
Fantastic! wow! and unreal! : a book about interjections and conjunctions
Heller, Ruth, 1924-2004.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Grosset & Dunlap, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Introduces and explains various interjections and conjunctions, including "awesome, " "alas, " and "yet."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PE1355 .H45 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PE1355 .H45 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



At last! With this Fantastic! publication, Ruth Heller's bestselling language series is finally complete! This time, Heller picks up pen and paintbrush to explain interjections and conjunctions with her trademark wit and pictorial verve. But can she really turn this seemingly dry subject into a lively, challenging picture book? And how!

Author Notes

After receiving a fine arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and completing two years of graduate work in design at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Ruth Heller (1923-2004) began her career designing wrapping paper, cocktail napkins, greeting cards, and coloring books. After five years of rejection and one complete revision, Heller's first book,  Chickens Aren't the Only Ones , about egg-laying animals, was published in 1981. It was so successful that the sequel, and second book to be published,  Animals Born Alive And Well  (1982), about mammals, quickly followed. In 1983 and 1984, her third and fourth titles,  The Reason For A Flower  (about plants that have seeds and flowers) and  Plants That Never Ever Bloom  (about plants that do not) were published.

She then began work on a collection of six books, the  How To Hide  series on camouflage and the magic of this phenomenon in nature, which covered the entire animal kingdom -- insects, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and sea creatures. The next collection of books became a five-volume series on parts of speech:  A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns; Kites Sail High: A Book About Verbs; Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives; Merry-Go-Round: A Book About Nouns;  and  Up, Up and Away: A Book About Adverbs . She also wrote and illustrated the unique and fascinating book  Color , a charming and instructive guide to how art goes through the four color printing process.

Among the notable people who have had an influence on Heller's writing have been: Ogden Nash, Gilbert and Sullivan, Edward Lear, Hilaire Belloc, and Dr. Seuss. Heller says of her work, "All my books are nonfiction picture books in rhyme. I find writing in rhyme enjoyable and challenging, and I think it is an easy way for children to learn new facts and acquire a sophisticated vocabulary. Children are not intimidated by big words. I try to make my writing succinct and allow the illustrations to convey as much information as possible."

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 6^-8, slightly older for reading alone. In her eighth (and final) book on the parts of speech, Heller fills the double-page spreads with vivid images in blazing colors. The opening spread, showing green, gold, and heliotrope snakes writhing around the placid face of an uncommonly comely Medusa, gives children reason to utter (and perhaps remember) their own interjections. Other spreads illustrate different kinds of interjections and how they change with the times. The rest of the book demonstrates six types of conjunctions, underscoring Heller's point that "Each kind of conjunction behaves just like glue, / connecting words and groups of words, too." The bold and varied page design adds to the book's appeal. A boon to teachers who find that Heller's rhymes and eye-catching graphics can add needed zip to grammar lessons. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Heller's latest book on the parts of speech shows not only exuberance toward her subject, but also connectivity to her earlier titles. What else would interjections and conjunctions do? Youngsters will delight in the rhyming text, which artistically weaves information through vibrant illustrations. While similar in style to the other books, each page of this effort is surprisingly fresh and new (Zebras have brightly colored stripes). The author offers a historical perspective to interjections, from the contemporary "Cool!" to the archaic "Alack!" There is also a full explanation of the types of conjunctions. This title is a must-have for school media centers as it provides sheer enjoyment and stimulating instruction for both students and teachers. Other libraries serving young readers should consider it as well. Wow! What will Heller do next?-Betty Teague, Blythe Academy of Languages, Greenville, SC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.