(December 1, 2003; 0-439-44337-7)
PreS-Gr. 2. Charley's letters from Alphabet Adventure (2001) set off on another escapade to find Little x, who was absent from the bedtime roll call. After Little t tattles that x took a pencil and flew away, the other letters hop on a pencil and take off to hunt for him. They find him in a castle, held captive by Giant M, a miserable monster. It seems Little x ran away because Charley never used him. But Little i knows a secret; tomorrow is Charley's mother's birthday, and Charley plans to use Little x. Monster M lets Little x go and allows each letter to choose a gift from his treasure room. As it turns out, Charley makes a cake, spells out "I Love You Mom," and uses Little x four times--for kisses, of course. Visual and verbal puns add to the fun of learning the alphabet, as do the vividly colored, digitally created illustrations that look like animated photographs.ids will love the "I Spy" aspect of matching letters to the gifts. --Julie Cummins Copyright 2003 Booklist
School Library Journal
(November 1, 2003; 0-439-44337-7)
PreS-Gr 2-A story that invites participation and promotes letter recognition. When Little x disappears from Charley's Alphabet, the rest of the letters search for him, finding him in the castle of Master M. To their surprise, he does not want to be rescued, because he is useful there unlike at home, where Charley seldom uses him. When Master M awakes and threatens to use the letters in soup, Little x comes to the rescue and they all return home safely. There, Charley helps his dad decorate a birthday cake for his mother, and he uses Little x four times-because it is the only letter that stands for kisses. As in Alphabet Adventure (Scholastic, 2001), children will work on a skill necessary to begin reading as they enjoy the story and the bright, three-dimensional-looking digital illustrations filled with detail.-Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, starred
(September 1, 2003; 0-439-44337-7)
In this follow-up to Alphabet Adventure, mother and son Woods again unleash young Charley's set of three-dimensional, lower-case letters on what is best described as a why-dunit. When the alphabet takes nightly roll call, something isn't right. Little x is missing, and the other 25 letters set off to track him down. They find him at the spooky castle of the ominously green Giant M (for Master) and discover that their comrade has become a captive but willing court musician ("tap-dancing a lullaby on a xylophone"). "I ran away because Charley never uses me," Little x whines. But when Little i (whose missing dot was the subject of the previous volume) explains Charley's plans for Little x in his mother's birthday surprise, the errant letter agrees to escape-a plan that turns out to be unnecessary, since the hulking M is really a big softie. Once again, Bruce Wood's super-saturated, digital pictures bubble with a playfully surreal sense of scale, volume and detailing, as he first shows the alphabet quaking in the shadow of M, then the Giant M blubbering-"I have a mother too"-as teardrops splash on the letters' surface. Whether the abecadarian cast is sailing to and from the castle on their pencil rocket, or picking out a present for Charley's mother from Giant M's treasure room (Little f picks a fan, Little n picks a necklace, etc.), every spread is letter-perfect. Ages 3-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews August 1, 2003
Twenty-five lowercase letters go in search of the runaway Little x in the sequel to Alphabet Adventure (2001) by this mother-and-son team. They find him in a castle inhabited by the menacing Master M. “ A little x is just a worthless letter back home.” Little x explains to his pals while dancing on a xylophone for the Mas