ActivitiesBook BumsBook Bums NewsletterBooksParentingReadingSpeaking

Newsletter – Riddles, Featured Authors and more! – July 5, 2024

BB skinny logo

Hello Book Bums families!

We hope you are enjoying summer and your holiday weekend. We love to hear from you! Did you know you can always respond to this email to share what you're reading, where you're traveling, or what you'd like to see in upcoming issues of the newsletter?

This week we're sharing riddles, jokes, another favorite author, and something called an eggcorn. Read on and enjoy! is an Amazon Associate; We earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on a link to and make a purchase, We may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We do recommend the products. Feel free to find them by other means.

Word of the Week

excerpt (ex-serpt) noun/person, place, or thing - a short passage

The teacher hung signs all around the classroom with snippets and excerpts from favorite texts.

Literary Calendar

• July 10 is the birthday of Canadian short story author Alice Munro.
• Munro received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013.
• This prolific writer died earlier this year, and you can learn more about her life and work in her obituary.

From our Bookshelves

Stella by Starlight

Stella by Starlight was written by Sharon Draper, an Ohio-born author who went to college at Miami University to become a professional educator and who taught in the Cincinnati Public Schools. Draper was a National Teacher of the Year (1997) and became a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award. Draper, still writing, resides in Cincinnati with her husband.

Click here to enjoy an interview with Sharon Draper where she talks about the book Stella by Starlight and she reads aloud a “tiny excerpt” from the book:

Sharon Draper’s most popular books:

New York Times best seller

(for kids ages 10-18)
(for kids ages 10-18)

Coretta Scott King Awards

Forged by fire
Copper sun
Tears of a tiger
The battle of jericho
(for kids ages 12 and up)
(for kids ages 12 and up)

Tips for Readers and Writers

In an interview, Sharon Draper said that the best way she knows to enthuse people about reading is to read aloud excerpts from great books. Well that’s easy enough, right?

Tips for Families

What’s the longest word that doesn’t contain a vowel?

Well, that’s a tricky question because not only does every word have to have a vowel, but every syllable of every word must have a vowel.
Often, when teaching our students the short vowel song, a student will say something about the “sometimes y” vowel. At Book Bums, we say that a y is a consonant, but sometimes it acts like a vowel.

The letter y has no vowel sound of its own. When it acts like a vowel, it sounds like an i saying its name (usually at the ends of short little words) or an e saying its name (usually at the ends of longer words). Sometimes y can sound like a short i as we see in the word bicycle. But y has no vowel sound of its own.

That’s what makes this riddle a tricky one.

What’s the longest word that doesn’t contain a vowel?

The word rhythm. (However, that y is acting like a vowel.)

Just for Fun

Speaking of rhythm . . .


(I had to include this one in the newsletter again.)

BONUS- The word containing the most vowels in a row is the word queueing.

Queue is pronounced /cue/ and it’s a line of people. When people are queueing, they’re lining up.

Wordology Workshop

• The Greek root syl means with or joined to.
• It works a lot like the Latin root con.
• You can find syl in English words like syllable, syllogism, and syllabus

Practical Grammar


Have you heard the term eggcorns? Yes. You read that correctly. Eggcorns. It’s the perfect name for this thing that happens when we mishear a word and wrongly assume that one thing was said when it was actually something else entirely.

When someone heard the word acorn, they wrongly assumed that those little things were called eggcorns. It sounds very similar, and one could justify that an acorn is similar to an egg. It’s plausible.

It happens all the time, doesn’t it?

When I was a little girl, I had a calendar on my wall where I’d written the word “extrasizes.” My dad asked about it. He shared with me that the actual term was exercises to which I replied, “Oh. I thought it was extrasizes because that’s what people do when they want to remove “extra sizes.” That was, perhaps, my first eggcorn.

The thing is, we probably have eggcorns that we don’t even know are eggcorns!

Here are fifteen examples:

1. For all intensive purposes . . . is actually . . . For all intents and purposes.
2. Nip it in the butt . . . is actually . . . Nip it in the bud.
3. Oldtimers disease . . . is actually . . . Alzheimer’s disease.
4. A mute point . . . is actually . . . a moot point.
5. All for not . . . is actually . . . all for naught.
6. An old wise tale . . . is actually . . . an old wives’ tale.
7. A safety deposit box . . . is actually . . . a safe deposit box.
8. A rot iron fence . . . is actually . . . a wrought iron fence.
9. Chomping at the bit . . . is actually . . . champing at the bit. (That’s one of mine!)
10. A deep seated issue. . . is actually . . . a deep seeded issue.
11. Towing the line . . . is actually . . . toeing the line.
12. Peak your interest . . . is actually . . . pique your interest.
13. Wet your appetite . . . is actually . . . whet your appetite.
14. Throws of passion . . . is actually . . . throes of passion.
15. Lip singing . . . is actually . . . lip synching.

If you don’t mix many of these up, you are probably a reader. It’s hard to know what folks are saying when you cannot see the words in print. I often marvel when I notice, for the first time, the spellings of words. I can recall a time—just a couple years ago—when I realized there are two words that sound like this: /eek/.
• She saw the mouse and screamed, “Eek!”
• This one sounds the same but is spelled differently: eke
• To eke is to squeeze every bit out of something (such as a vacation) or to make something last. For example, I eke every last bit of toothpaste from my toothpaste tube.

The point is not to feel dumb when we make errors or to make others feel small when they make errors. Rather it’s fun to notice just how magnificent (and sometimes complex) our language can be. And, certainly, we all deserve grace when navigating this language of ours.

Scholars agree that the invention of the process for recording words began only about 5,500 years ago. Now that’s incredible!

News from Book Bums

Book Bums is hosting another teacher training session to prepare for the busy season of tutoring that always begins after fall testing. Are you a teacher who’d like to learn about how we teach kids to navigate this complex language of ours, equipping them to decode words accurately so they can read and spell at grade-level expectations—and actually have fun in the process? If so, email me at [email protected]. We will be hosting that training on Sunday, July 14th, from 5-7 p.m. We’d love to have you join us!


If you’d like to schedule a free assessment for a child you love (5-10 year of age), click this link, and we’ll get that on the books as quickly as possible.

Read Free Kindle books with the Kindle app!

If you know someone who would benefit from our newsletter or tutoring at Book Bums, please share this email with them! Thank you.

Copyright © 2024 Book Bums, All rights reserved

Our mailing address is: 
7967 Cincinnati-Dayton Road Suite L
West Chester, OH 45069

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *