Mansfield girl six causes a stir when she pulls up children’s author over her grammar

Isabella Rhodes with her signed book, reply letter and a copy of the letter that sparked an internet sensation after she wrote to author Joanna Nadin.
Isabella Rhodes with her signed book, reply letter and a copy of the letter that sparked an internet sensation after she wrote to author Joanna Nadin.

An eagle-eyed youngster who spotted her favourite author had broken a grammatical rule, wrote to her about it – and the letter went viral.

Six-year-old King Edward Primary School pupil Isabella Rhodes became an internet sensation after she pulled up Joanna Nadin for using “And” at the start of the sentence in one of her books.

The celebrated children’s author wrote back and sent Isabella a signed copy of the book, telling her some rules are made to be broken.

The pair’s exchange was shared online and, in internet parlance, “‘went viral”.

Isabella wrote: “In your book The Stepmonster, you start a sentence with the word ‘and’. We have been taught not to start with a conjunction. Why have you done this on page five?”

The author replied – with all her sentences starting with conjunctions:

She wrote: “So, first of all I want to say thank you for writing to me. And an even bigger thank,you for questioning a rule, for example why do men wear ties “And why isn’t Robert a girls’ name? And why are cats allowed to wander wherever they want, but goats aren’t?

“Although actually that last rule makes sense, because goats would eat everything they saw, but the rule on not starting a sentence with ‘and’ is a silly one.

“And I can tell you a secret, which is that all of my writer friends, including some super famous ones, do so all the time and so do newspapers and magazines and prime ministers — I know this because I used to write for one and I made sure he started sentences with and and but.

“So, next time your teacher tells you that you can’t start a sentence with a conjunction, you had probably better do what you’re told.

“But you can also secretly smile to yourself that you know this is a rule you’re allowed to break all the time in real life.

“And you can even change your name to Robert too if you fancy.”

Proud dad Michael, a teacher at West Notts College, said: “Isabella had been taught at school never to start a sentence with a conjunction, but she spotted Joanna had done it and decided to write to her.”