Moira Donohue

   Moira Donohue started writing when she was a kid living in Bayside, Queens, NY. She stopped writing for fun when she was in college. She went to law school, became a lawyer and wrote only things like memoranda and legislation. But she missed writing stories, so she started writing again as an adult. It was while she was reading Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss that she decided to let kids in on the secret personalities of punctuation marks! Moira has always loved rules and especially the rules of grammar and punctuation. She loves the stage, as well. That’s why she wrote a play, “An Alphabet Story” for Plays Magazine (November 2002) and why she wrote about Alfie taking part in a talent show. Moira was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2 and has written several short stories for children’s magazines. Her second book, Penny and the Punctuation Bee, will be published in 2008. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband, two children, and a dog named Sniffles.

Selected Reviews of Moira’s Books

Alfie the Apostrophe
Moira Donohue
Illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi
   Who knew punctuation could be such fun? Alfie, an apostrophe, wants to be in the punctuation-mark talent show, but how can he compete with pom-pom wielding exclamation points and jump roping parentheses? Even the director of the show, Mr. Asterisk, mistakes Alfie for a comma, and the quotation marks make fun of him. However, as the author points out, “Quotation marks were often filled with hot air.” This clever book is both fun and educational. Did you know that “apostrophe” comes from the Greek word meaning “to turn away?” Alfie uses magic to turn away letters and teach us about contractions. He also shows us what can be achieved by persevering. Young children will love the colorful pictures and exuberant antics of periods, hyphens, and other dancing punctuation marks. Older children will appreciate a fun way to learn contractions (by magic!) and understand the witty double meanings in the text. Adults will enjoy being able to read this book many times and still chuckle. A must for any classroom and library and, indeed, your own bookshelf. 2006, Albert Whitman, $16.95. Ages 4 up. Reviewer: Kathryn Erskine (Children’s Literature).

Program Details

A Program with Alfie the Apostrophe
   This presentation includes a book reading, a talk about punctuation and writing, interactive contraction magic tricks and a visit from Alfie. (45 to 50 minutes)
Recommended for grades 2 and 3.

presenting “The Alphabet Story”
   With help from the audience, Moira acts out her play, “The Alphabet Story” and helps young children learn their letters in an entertaining atmosphere.
(25 to 30 minutes)
Recommended for preschoolers and young elementary-age students.

Moira will conduct up to 2 presentations in one day in the northern Virginia/Maryland/DC area.She prefers an audience of 30 children but will present to a maximum of 60. Her presentations are for preschoolers through third grade.

Costs: One presentation of A Program with Alfie the Apostrophe is $165, or $110 with the purchase of books. The stage play program is $110. Fees are based on one reading for a single, class-sized audience and may be slightly higher if more than one reading is requested.

Additional Information

To learn more about Moira and her publications please visit