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The Dangerous Alphabet
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The Dangerous Alphabet

4.5 10
by Neil Gaiman, Gris Grimly (Illustrator)
 

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A is for Always, that's where we embark . . .

Two children, treasure map in hand, and their pet gazelle sneak past their father, out of their house, and into a world beneath the city, where monsters and pirates roam.

Will they find the treasure? Will they make it out alive?

Overview

A is for Always, that's where we embark . . .

Two children, treasure map in hand, and their pet gazelle sneak past their father, out of their house, and into a world beneath the city, where monsters and pirates roam.

Will they find the treasure? Will they make it out alive?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 5 up.

Neil Gaiman's idiosyncratic science fiction world is not to everyone's taste, but those to whom it appeals will love this alphabet book. They will find Crimly's sepia- toned drawings somewhat reminiscent of Edmund Gorey, a perfect fit with the sparse text. Two children with a treasure map progress through the alphabet and a sewer system filled with monsters and pirates to emerge safely at Z. This is a tale for the reader to construct, one that refuses to be reduced to a simple story line. Each reading is likely to suggest a new interpretation. We are warned from the start that even the story's alphabet is not to be trusted. "C" for example is said to be "the way that we find and we look," but the illustrations show that the letter is both a pun for "see." At the same time the page is filled with clocks. In any case, this is clearly not a book to hand a young child to develop alphabetic awareness. It is meant for children and adults who have a slightly ghoulish sense of humor. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry

Kirkus Reviews
Normal abecedarian fodder gets a poke in the ribcage with this most unusual alphabet tale. A boy and a girl clad in rumpled Victorian weeds and their stalwart gazelle navigate both monsters and madmen in hopes of reaching their final destination. Unfortunately, along the way the girl is taken captive and it's up to the boy and gazelle to rescue her from a series of ingenious nightmares. Each letter of the alphabet occupies one half of a rhyming couplet, objects that begin with each letter appearing on the pages in a sort of Gothic Animalia (Graeme Base, 1986). Grimly's gleefully ghoulish Tim Burton-esque line-and-watercolor illustrations are the star here. The letters have a haphazard relationship to their couplets, as with "Z waits alone and it's not for a thing," and there is one instance in which two letters appear out of order, rendering this alphabet "not to be relied upon." Fans of both creators' works will seek this title out, as will adults of the macabre persuasion. Children appear to be a secondary consideration. (Picture book. 7-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060783334
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/29/2008
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
455,100
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Gris Grimly is a children's book illustrator who moonlights in painting and filmmaking. Some of his best-known works include Gris Grimly's Frankenstein, Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness and Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Death and Dementia, and Neil Gaiman's bestselling picture book The Dangerous Alphabet. He lives in Los Angeles.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
November 10, 1960
Place of Birth:
Portchester, England
Education:
Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
Website:
http://www.neilgaiman.com

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The Dangerous Alphabet 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman writes a phenomenal book. Those that have known well enough to crack one of his titles already know this. And this book is no different- it is told wonderfully. And the greatest thing that could have happened to Gaiman's words is Gris Grimly. Each page is saturated with fantastic illustrations to look at. There is so much detail on the page, it made my mind boggle. Whether just a child, or an adult, this one is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book for the daytime. The pictures could be scary to little children. I bought the book because it was out with the Halloween books and I buy a new Halloween book each year. This is very different. The rhyming is good, but again the pictures could be scary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Daughter Is Looking Forward To More Books Being Written In The Series! She Is 15 Years Old And Likes The Writing! I Am Her Father Writing This Review For Her As She Has Told Me About What She Liked In The Book, After Reading It!
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