Little Bird's ABC

Little Bird's ABC

by Piet Grobler
     
 

A is for Apple, B is for Boy, right? Not according to these little birds! A is for a jumping bird's cry of Alley-oop! H is for the sound a bird makes when it sneezes---Ha-choo! T is for a woodpecker's Tok tok.  Readers of all ages will be surprised and amused twenty-six times by the silly sounds that

Overview

A is for Apple, B is for Boy, right? Not according to these little birds! A is for a jumping bird's cry of Alley-oop! H is for the sound a bird makes when it sneezes---Ha-choo! T is for a woodpecker's Tok tok.  Readers of all ages will be surprised and amused twenty-six times by the silly sounds that little birds make in this charming, whimsical alphabet book.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly

(08/15/2005):

Elegantly impish watercolors and a soupç on of naughty humor make this one of the freshest primers in quite some time. An aviary of precisely inked and improbably feathered friends (think A.O. Blechman filtered through the sensibilities of fashion illustration) scampers through the alphabet against a crisp white background. The hand-size hardcover format lends the proceedings the cozy, silly intimacy of a tickle. Grobler ("Carnival of the Animals") varies his approach to the letters: some spreads capitalize on the shape, some opt for the sound and some do a kind of double duty. "F" is the first letter of the "Ffftt...." emitted from a contented bird's derriè re after eating beans; "T" is for the "Tok-tok-tok" sound made by a woodpecker-type bird hacking at the letter's trunk in pursuit of a fat ladybug. A few letter treatments are predictable or opaque ("Z" connotes the snores of a sleeping bird, "X" seems to stand for a feathered daredevil's demise), but most bubble with a puckishness that's certain to win the hearts of even veteran abecedarians. All ages. "(Sept.)" Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly
Elegantly impish watercolors and a soup on of naughty humor make this one of the freshest primers in quite some time. An aviary of precisely inked and improbably feathered friends (think A.O. Blechman filtered through the sensibilities of fashion illustration) scampers through the alphabet against a crisp white background. The hand-size hardcover format lends the proceedings the cozy, silly intimacy of a tickle. Grobler (Carnival of the Animals) varies his approach to the letters: some spreads capitalize on the shape, some opt for the sound and some do a kind of double duty. F is the first letter of the "Ffftt...." emitted from a contented bird's derri re after eating beans; T is for the "Tok-tok-tok" sound made by a woodpecker-type bird hacking at the letter's trunk in pursuit of a fat ladybug. A few letter treatments are predictable or opaque (Z connotes the snores of a sleeping bird, X seems to stand for a feathered daredevil's demise), but most bubble with a puckishness that's certain to win the hearts of even veteran abecedarians. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The activities of a busy group of small birds make this tiny alphabet book stand out from others. The birds cavort across the double page reserved for each hand-calligraphed letter, shown in upper and lower case. "Alley-oop!" bounces a bird across from A to a. "Burp . . . " comes after another quaffs a foaming mug. "Ha . . . ha . . . ha . . . ha-ACHOO!" sneezes a bird perched on an h, blowing three buddies off the cross bar of H. The book closes peacefully with a sleepy bird's "Yaaawwwn" and Zzzz" under the moon in a night sky. Thin black lines define each bird along with a few other creatures and objects; watercolors add attractive substance. There is an esthetic delicacy to these images set on white pages without any context. And there is plenty of humor in the visual nonsense as well, as a chicken strains to produce an egg or a bird gets "Doinked" with an apple. Do not miss the 45 tiny boxed drawings on the end-papers. 2005, Front Street/Lemniscaat, Ages 3 to 7.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-An appealing avian crew stars in this alphabet of sounds. These birds are brimming with personality and playfulness, conveyed through a rich variety of color, pose, and facial expression in the line-and-watercolor art. Each verso presents the upper- and lowercase versions of a letter, along with a picture; the action is completed on the right, with the appropriate sound or words spelled out. A mischievous woodpecker, for instance, clings to a capital "T" as a ladybug crawls across the top. On the ensuing page, the bird breaks the letter-"Tok-tok-tok"-and the insect topples off. "Uh-oh!" describes a little guy that gets caught pecking the egg of a much larger bird, while "Doink!" is the sound of an apple that beans a fanciful bird; the "Ffftt-" that comes from still another's rear should elicit embarrassed giggles from children. In most cases, readers encounter a new bird with each page turn, but a few stick around. A multicolored fellow gives an "Mmmm-" while unearthing a worm at "M" and adds "Nice worm!" on the following spread as it swallows its victim. Creative use of line and color makes each illustration a pleasant surprise, while sounds/words such as "Iiiee!!" and "Vroom, vroom!" are unexpected. With its small, square size and deceptively simple look, this is an inspired and original entry.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The small square shape and multicolored checked spine and endpapers are reminiscent of Chris Raschka's Mysterious Thelonious. But inside, this small alphabet book with its ink-and-watercolor birds on white backgrounds raises some questions about audience. A green semi-circular slash for the letter "C" is accompanied by two little birds in trees, catching each other's eyes before going, "Chirp chirp chirp" to each other. "G" is "Grrr!!" as a big bird snarls at a smaller one that has just pulled its tail. "M" for "Mmm" is followed by "N" ("Nice worm!"), as a multicolored bird swallows the hapless crawler. A chicken graphically plops an egg into a nest for "P." Small children will probably be amused, if they are not baffled, by the birds' sometimes-rude antics (including burping, splatting poop and a "ffft") and some of the expressions ("Alley-oop!" and "Jeepers creepers!"). "Yaaawwwn" and "Zzzz . . . " conclude, but readers should keep their eyes open. (Picture book. All ages)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932425529
Publisher:
Lemniscaat USA
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Pages:
52
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Piet Grober was born in Nylstroom, Limpopo Province, South Africa, and grew up on a a farm in Warmbaths area, the eldest of five children. He has lived in Stellenbosch since 1989 with his wife Marietjie, who is a music teacher and musicologist and his baby daughter Catherina (and cat Rottie). He studied theology at the University of Pretoria and was a minister of religion from 1985 to 1989. Following that he studied graphic design and journalism and worked as a graphic designer and editor in the field of advertising and publications. Piet has been a free-lance artist and illustrator since 1996. Now a well-established artist, he has won many national and international prizes. These include a silver medal at the Noma Concours in 1997 for Here I Am (1996), the Octogone de Chne in 1999 and the Primo Alpi Apuane in 2000 for Carnival of the Animals (1998) as well as the Tiene Holloway Medal in 1997 for Rhinocephants on the Roof (1996).

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