Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hilarious Alphabet Books

After Bill Martin's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, the bar was raised as to what we might hope to expect from alphabet books. No more mindless repetition of those 26 letters--humor, curiosity, and the thrill of the hunt were finally combined to initiate little ones into the magical world of reading. Two worthy additions to this club of wacky and informative picture books are: A is for Salad and Z is for Moose.

Mike Lester's quirky pairing of letters and illustrations prove confusing at first. "A" is for "salad?" What's going on? "B" is for "Viking?" Mr. Lester seems to have lost it--until you look closely at the decidedly goofy critters posing with their alphabetical counterparts. The Alligator eating a salad and the Beaver wearing a Viking helmet "might" give many pint-sized sleuths a clue. Children of all ages will have a rip-roaring good time trying to guess why "N" is for "lunch" (or why we really don't need those troublesome letters "X" and "Y").

Photobomb. We've all been victims or perpetrators. But in Kelly Bingham's Z is for Moose, Moose gets the prize, hands down. Zebra is directing an alphabet photo shoot. There's the expected apple, ball, and cat along with twenty-three (oops) twenty-four other characters calmly waiting in line for Zebra's cue. Wait a minute, the alphabet doesn't have 27 letters! Tell that to Moose who starts his shenanigans by chasing the ducks off the stage when it's "D's" turn. He slinks onto Elephant's shoot, and then stomps on a hat Zebra has placed front and center for the "H" page. All the while Moose whines and moans and impatiently asks, "Is it my turn yet?" Finally, it's time to bring on the "M," and Moose is upstaged by a MOUSE! Everyone will whoosh a breath of relief as they flip to the satisfying conclusion .

Learning the alphabet will never be the same.

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