________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 39. . . .June 10, 2016


-Ful and -Less, -Er and -Ness: What is a Suffix? (Words Are CATegorical).

Brian P. Cleary. Illustrated by Martin Goneau.
Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press (Distributed in Canada by Thomas Allen & Son), 2014.
32 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-5124-0088-5.

Subject Headings:
English language-Suffixes and prefixes-Juvenile literature.
Language arts (Primary).

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review for Tanya Boudreau.

***1/2 /4


F-U-L means “full of” too, like powerful or truthful, colorful or painful, also beautiful and youthful.

When L-Y is the suffix, it typically will tell the way an action happens, as in “quickly, loudly yell!”

Suffixes might tell us that a thing or person’s “able”, like “Good thing that’s erasable. She’s writing on the table.”


The lively cats in this latest language arts book by Cleary teach about suffixes. In short rhyming sentences, they explain what a suffix is and where to find them. The purpose of a suffix becomes clear with the variety of examples provided, and the suffixes appear in bold coloured typeface (farmer / preferred) to differentiate them from the main (root) word. The book includes 22 suffixes such as -ed, -ing, -ish, -ize, and, –y. The spelling is American, but there is only the one “American” word, neighborhood. On the last double page spread of the book, there is a handy wrap-up which charts the suffix, meaning, and example of the suffixes (but new root words) featured in the book. The illustrations show cats in masks and capes to exemplify the words “powerful” and “truthful”, and male and female construction worker cats building a school for the pages with the words “foundation” and “amazing education”. There is humour and exaggeration in many of the drawings and scenery that have the cats both outside and inside. Reluctant readers shouldn’t find this book overwhelming because the book is small in size (a little bigger than a level reader), and the few words that are on the page are not written in straight lines; they look to be riding the tops of an invisible, small wave. The book is fun, and it shows in both the words and the illustrations.

Highly Recommended.

Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

CM Home | Next Review | (Table of Contents for This Issue - June 10, 2016.) | Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive

Updated: October 17, 2014 (hsd)