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Abracadabra to Zigzag: An Alphabet Book

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Given the current spate of alphabet books, it's gratifying to come upon an imaginative, fresh entry into the field. No mere Apple, Ball and Chair here: Lecourt has carefully selected an ingenious ``mishmash'' that youngsters will devour ``licketysplit,'' to use but two of her cheery choices. The very quirkiness of these entries makes them instantly intriguing--``rolypoly'' and ``pitter-patter'' are beguiling to the ear, and look almost as delicious on paper. Lehman's wide variety of energetic characters delight in their uniqueness. Painted on toenails, smiling faces count off ``eenie, meenie, minie, mo''--the fifth toe is fast asleep. Even the book's design reinforces the fun and inventiveness of this winning debut. While many illustrations are neatly framed, some images spill off the pages--countless ducks echo ``quackety quack'' as they waddle in a green field. The glossary that explains the origins of these expressions is a gold mine for trivia buffs (``odds and ends'' dates from 1746; ``eenie meenie'' was first used by Druid priests). Clearly, ``W'' is for ``winner.'' Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-- An intriguing array of English ``ricochet words'' and expressions to correspond to the letters of the alphabet. Phrases such as ``nip and tuck'' or ``itsy bitsy,'' the origins or meanings of which are rarely considered, are presented here. Lecourt supplies brief but informative notes about the derivations and definitions of the terms in a glossary. The real success in carrying off a picture book based on such unusual and abstract vocabulary rests, however, in Lehman's illustrations. Not only does she convey the sense of such words as ``dillydally,'' ``licketysplit,'' and ``mishmash,'' but she also varies the page layouts to provide additional visual appeal and incorporates a yellow dog in each double-page spread to sustain interest. The clever and colorful watercolors make the title much more accessible than might be expected given the words involved. However, the primary audience will likely be those who enjoy abstract alphabet books such as Marty Neumeier's Action Alphabet (Greenwillow, 1985) or Chris Van Allsburg's The Z Was Zapped (Clarion , 1987). --Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140544701
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1992
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 7.08 (h) x 0.13 (d)

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