A Fabulous Fair Alphabet

Overview

Alphabet letters of all sorts of shapes and sizes and styles—from blinking neon ones, to unusual old-style graphic ones to rustic hand-painted ones have been photographed and collaged together into an exuberant, eye-popping, letter-and-word-finding tour of the glories of the state fair. Bursting with with bright, bold illustrations of favorite fair elements like dill pickles and Ferris wheels and midway games, here is an alphabet-exploring adventure like no other!

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Overview

Alphabet letters of all sorts of shapes and sizes and styles—from blinking neon ones, to unusual old-style graphic ones to rustic hand-painted ones have been photographed and collaged together into an exuberant, eye-popping, letter-and-word-finding tour of the glories of the state fair. Bursting with with bright, bold illustrations of favorite fair elements like dill pickles and Ferris wheels and midway games, here is an alphabet-exploring adventure like no other!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Frasier (A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake) has hold of a terrific idea: find photographic examples of all 26 letters of the alphabet amid the garish typography of state fairs. Many of the letters are studded with light bulbs; others suggest the plumpness of a corn dog, or, like a fast-talking carnival hawker, hold out the promise of an unforgettable experience with extravagant serifs, racy scripts, or jaunty two-tone coloring. Frasier then uses the letters in thematic collages--paired with images of fairgoers, animals, and souvenirs--that celebrate aspects of the fair that begin with each letter. Thus Fs become the seats on a Ferris wheel and Ss stand in for children on a giant wavy slide. Visually, the colorful and cluttered spreads evoke the energy of the fair (particularly a "midway nights" spread against a royal blue sky). However, the letters often feel like confetti, rather than being intrinsic to the scenes. "Yawning" and "Zucchini" are a fairly anticlimactic end to the book, but there's at least a hint of the smells and tastes of funnel cakes and cotton candy to be found. All ages. (June)
From the Publisher
"This alphabet book is not just about words that begin with the 26 letters; it’s also a graphic display of the myriad fonts found at a fair...the pages seem to sparkle and blink with the bright lights of a midway...As alphabet books go, this one is delightful. As graphic art goes, it’s alive with evocative, almost magical examples. Readers will be delighted with the images of fun and games, rides and blue ribbons, food and prizes."—School Library Journal

"Frasier shows that there is a dizzying array of words to be found amid the visual cacophony of the
fairgrounds....The illustrations are eye-catching...In each busy spread, the featured letter appears many times...creating an interactive find-and-seek game as children try to spot and count each one.—Booklist

"Frasier has hold of a terrific idea: find photographic examples of all 26 letters of the alphabet amid the garish typography of state fairs....the colorful and cluttered spreads evoke the energy of the fair."—Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Bethany Miller Cole
Everyone loves the fair, and this fair-themed alphabet book is designed to mimic a fun-filled family visit. From "arena" to "zucchini," food, games, animals, rides, and exhibits that can be found at the fair are presented in bright primary colors and engaging collage-type illustrations. The author, a photographer and long-time state-fair lover, takes her own photos of unique signage and incorporates them into each alphabet letter's page. A plethora of Cs in various fonts highlights "cotton candy," brightly-colored Ss punctuate an illustration of a slide, and rows of Ws line a page depicting a midway "win." The letters themselves are the building blocks of the collages, giving the book a somewhat whimsical feel. Younger children may enjoy the bright colors and using the book to remember or anticipate their own visits to the fair, but without a rhyme or story to accompany the pictures, older children and adults will lose interest after a reading or two. Reviewer: Bethany Miller Cole
School Library Journal
K-Gr 6—This alphabet book is not just about words that begin with the 26 letters; it's also a graphic display of the myriad fonts found at a fair. Pages display many samples for each letter, both upper and lowercase, with one subject per letter. For example, "B" shows a bold red outline of a BARN and a black silhouette of a horse at the door with the structure filled with collage-style Bs. Despite the flat graphic style, the pages seem to sparkle and blink with the bright lights of a midway. The endpapers are bold collages of photos of signs at fairs. As alphabet books go, this one is delightful. As graphic art goes, it's alive with evocative, almost magical examples. Readers will be delighted with the images of fun and games, rides and blue ribbons, food and prizes. Pair this book with Lisa Campbell Ernst's The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book (S & S, 2004) or David Pelletier's The Graphic Alphabet (Scholastic, 1996) to introduce children to the delights of shapes and fonts. Introduce basic design concepts with books such as Mark Gonyea's A Book About Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Good (Holt, 2005) or other graphically illustrated titles such as those by Lois Ehlert or Linnea Riley.—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
Kirkus Reviews
For kids who have never been to a country fair, this montage of alphabet letters in various graphic styles that represent items and impressions of a fair may, like a first-time midway experience, be sensory overload. The intentionally frenetic page design is a visual cacophony of primary colors that pop on white backgrounds. The flat dimension of the vividly colored collages, created primarily from photographs Frasier took of letters on signs at a fair, creates a poster-like effect. Many word choices will not surprise either fairgoers or alphabet-book lovers-Q for quilts, C for cotton candy, T for tractor. Others are a stretch-D for dill pickle, O for outstanding (depicted as blue-ribbon winners of baked goods), U for unbelievable (sideshow acts), V for vegetables and Z for zucchini (a mother holds her blue ribbon while her son sleeps beside her). X is for eXit. At their very best, the compositions are downright inspired: Linked Rs in a variety of styles zoom up and down the roller coaster. All together, this themed abecedary whirls like a Ferris wheel. (Picture book. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416998174
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 797,340
  • Age range: 4 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Debra Frasier has written and illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including Spike; A Fabulous Fair Alphabet; Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster; and the beloved and bestselling On the Day You Were Born. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and frequently visits her home state of Florida.

Debra Frasier has written and illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including Spike; A Fabulous Fair Alphabet; Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster; and the beloved and bestselling On the Day You Were Born. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and frequently visits her home state of Florida.

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