Thursday, December 29, 2011

Alphabet Fun

Remember how much my students and I loved E-Mergency! by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer? (my review is here)

Well, I've got another pair of alphabet book that I'm betting stay off the shelf more than on, just like E-Mergency!.

A Call for a New Alphabet
by Jef Czekaj (Jef's website)
Charlesbridge, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

First sentence on the front flap: "X is tired of being at the back of every alphabet book." There's the "major conflict" in the story.

First sentence on the back flap: "Jef Czekaj has a BA in linguistics." That explains just about everything else.

Because X is tired of being at the back of the alphabet, and because he thinks more words should begin with him, X starts a campaign to change both the order of the letters in the alphabet, and their roles there.

The night before the big vote, X has some strange dreams that make clear to him the hard work of the other consonants in the alphabet. He turns to the vowels for an easier job, but find that they, of all the letters, best understand that the letters of the alphabet have to work together, rather than in competition. Each has an important job to do.

The illustrations are filled with all kinds of alphabetic sight-gags that will keep readers busy thinking about letters and words and the crazy English language.

Al Pha's Bet
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Amy's website)
illustrated by Delphine Durand (Delphine's blog)
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

Al, the guy who lived back in history "when all sorts of things were being invented. Like fire. The wheel. Shadows." decides that he wants to invent the order for the newly invented set of twenty-six letters. He bets himself that he can win the King's contest to organize the letters with the most beautiful arrangement.

Al has quite amusing (and incredibly LOGICAL) reasons for the order of the letters. When he presents his order to the king, "The king said it out loud. The king tried singing it. The king wanted to sing it again. He said to Al, 'This time, won't you sing with me?' " (Groan.)

You can guess by the title -- Al won the bet he made with himself. And that's how the twenty-six letters have come to be known as the Al Pha Bet. (Groan.)

1 comment:

  1. These sound wonderful enough to please the whimsey in all of us. I love the idea of the puns in the second one. There's a teacher I know who is known for his constant punning. Thanks for telling about the books!

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