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Madlibs Card Game Review
By Sandy Fleming

Many families have been enjoying "Mad-Lib" stories from Price-Stern- Sloan Publishers for years, but just in case you haven't stumbled onto this hilarious diversion, this is how it works: The publishers of Mad Libs have taken short essays about common topics, such as riding buses or going to camp, and removed selected words from the passages. Players are asked to provide nouns, adjectives, adverbs and other words without knowing the topic of the story to be read. When the provided words are inserted into their proper places in the story, it's often very difficult to keep a straight face. Children have been delighted with this game for many years, and numerous books of Mad Libs are available at most bookstores and many department stores.

Now there is a card game to carry the hilarity one step farther. In zany Mad Lib-style, players are challenged to create sentences from their word cards. Children who dread yet another grammar lesson become interested in the stock of words that are used to build the sentences. It's tough to build a sentence like "Large belly buttons dread ancient ball gowns" without having fun!

The game rules are similar to those of the traditional card game of Rummy. Each round requires a different combination of target sentence lengths, and points are scored based on correctly completed sentences. Everyone gets to read their creations out loud and the entire group generally collapses in fits of giggles.

The Mad Libs Card Game, published by Penguin Putnam, is a wonderful addition to the family game closet. Young players (those who are not yet ready to read at the third grade level) will need some help in reading the word cards, but the silliness will appeal to children (and adults) of all ages. It's a super tool for homeschoolers, teachers, and tutors, with strong focus on grammar and sentence structure. The game is available from / or your local game store.

Sandy Fleming is Busy Parents Online Magazine's Busy Gradeschoolers section editor.

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