A Is for Amos

Overview

Clippety clap clippety clap
A is for Amos and I'm on his back
B for the bumpety bridge we cross
C for the clippety clop of his trot . . .

So begins an infectious rhythmic chant that takes a girl on an imaginary adventure on a wonderful horse. The countryside, the animals they see along the way, and a ...

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Overview

Clippety clap clippety clap
A is for Amos and I'm on his back
B for the bumpety bridge we cross
C for the clippety clop of his trot . . .

So begins an infectious rhythmic chant that takes a girl on an imaginary adventure on a wonderful horse. The countryside, the animals they see along the way, and a dramatic storm all figure in a story that takes its lead from the progression of the alphabet. Energetic watercolor illustrations adroitly capture the excitement of the ride, one readers will want to take again and again.

A rider on Amos goes around the farm and back home to the barn finding all the letters of the alphabet.

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Editorial Reviews

Martha V. Parravano
The open road outside her window beckons an intrepid little girl. As she rides off on her hobby horse now transformed into a real horse the wallpaper fades into wide-open spaces, and the adventure begins. The lulling, hypnotic verse in this alphabet-driven text is ideal for bedtime reading, and many nice touches in the illustrations make a harmonious whole of the book.
The Horn Book Guide
Horn Book Magazine
In this alphabet book-cum-quiet adventure story, the open road outside her window beckons an intrepid little girl. In cowboy hat and overalls, hands thrust in pockets, she is the picture of ranch-hand confidence. So what if she only has a hobby horse to ride?-she also has her imagination. As she rides off on Amos-now transformed into a real horse-the wallpaper fades into wide-open spaces and the adventure begins: a stream to cross ("B for the bumpity bridge we cross / C for the clippety clop of his trot"); a fence to jump; farm animals to encounter, a storm to ride through and eventually take shelter from ("V for weather vane that's twirling / W for wild wind whirling / Clippety clap at last in the barn / X for extra-dry and warm"). Once in the barn, the timbered walls begin to fade back into the walls of the girl's room, and "Z-for lazy Amos-stops." Chandra's alphabet-driven text, if not perfectly sustained, is at least mostly so, and her lulling, hypnotic verse is ideal for bedtime reading. Illustrator Narahashi has conceived many nice touches that make a harmonious whole of the book: the weathervane that depicts the little girl and Amos at full gallop, the little girl's ponytail flying straight out behind her; the miniature farm laid out on a rug in the girl's room that mirrors the one she visits in her imagination; the closing vignette of the girl asleep on the same rug, being watched over by Amos-the living Amos of her imagination. Altogether a satisfying, well-shaped, age-appropriate picture book.
Martha Davis Beck
Deborah Chandra's verse flows naturally, its music subtle and pleasing. She never forces a rhyme&#151but neither does she miss a beat....Keiko Narahashi's watercolor illustrations have a dreamy quality that suits a child's reverie.
— Riverbank Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this unique combination of alphabet book and storybook, Chandra's (Balloons and Other Poems) galloping rhymes and Narahashi's (I Have a Friend) inviting watercolors take an imaginative cowgirl for a memorable ride. The title page features a jeans-clad, barefoot girl staring wistfully out the window with her calico rocking horse in the foreground. At the turn of each succeeding page, the girl is riding a real horse (the A for Amos of the title, also calico), as they go "B for the bumpity bridge we cross/ C for the clippety clop of his trot," and so on through the alphabet. They ride past the F for farmer and through M for mud ("Sloppity cloppety thumpety thud/ Past pigs in a puddle/ M is for mud"). They hurry to get out of the rain ("V for weather vane that's twirling/ W for wild wind whirling") and finally reach the cozy barn ("X for extra-dry and warm") where the walls fade back to the wallpaper print of the girl's room. Chandra inventively moves along the alliterative lines and each featured letter is bold-faced for easy recognition. Narahashi's exuberant characters feature in varied compositions that shine with golden hues. This alphabetical tale is a charmer, from A to Z. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-An unnamed girl narrates this rhyming alphabetical ride across an imaginary farm. Dressed in a T-shirt, blue overalls, and a red cowboy hat, she leaps onto her rocking horse's back and together they leave the walls of her room behind. Amos's hooves beat out the rhythm, while soft yet vivid watercolors capture the essence of the text. In a few places, the layout is confusing; on the same two-page spread, the illustration for one letter might occupy a page and a half while the illustration for another is assigned a corner. In spite of this and the fact that the rhyme is awkward in spots, youngsters will enjoy the girl's adventurous spirit.-Melanie C. Duncan, Washington Memorial Library, Macon, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Soft colors and small, rounded figures in Narahashi's paintings add extra appeal to this alphabetic horsey ride. Leaping atop her rocking horse, Amos, a young daydreamer crosses a "bumpity bridge" with a "clippety clop," gallops through fields, up and down a hill, and back to the "extra dry" barn as sunny skies give way to rain clouds. The partly rhymed text, with featured uppercase and lowercase letters in boldface, creates an evocative rhythm to underscore the playful pretend outing. (Picture book. 4-6) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374300012
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 3/4/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.36 (w) x 11.33 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Chandra is the author of two poetry collections and was the first winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award. She lives in Altadena, California.

Keiko Narahashi is the illustrator of many books for children, including her own I Have a Friend and Mary Serfozo's Who Said Red? She lives in New York City.

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