Paul Thurlby's Alphabet


Discover an alphabet like no other!

In his first picture book, graphic artist Paul Thurlby presents a stunning alphabet that helps to make the shape of each letter memorable. From an awesome A to a zippy Z, this is the perfect ABC book for the young and hip.

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Discover an alphabet like no other!

In his first picture book, graphic artist Paul Thurlby presents a stunning alphabet that helps to make the shape of each letter memorable. From an awesome A to a zippy Z, this is the perfect ABC book for the young and hip.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Debut talent Thurlby, a British graphic artist, goes from Awesome to Zip in this vintage-style ABC, which began as a self- directed project online that gained attention on design blogs. In “C for Catch,” a pair of arms forms a C to cradle a soccer ball. In “E for Embrace,” two Es face each other, smiling and meshed together like puzzle pieces, recalling 1970s “Love Is...” kitsch. The extended lines of F (fierce) and V (vicious) become biting jaws, a capital R shapes the head and legs of a seated rabbit, a K is imagined as the arms and legs of a karate student, and Y becomes a yoga pose. Thurlby works in multimedia collage, and his graph-paper backgrounds look creased and speckled by age. His flat, matte serigraph-style digital illustrations—with mock-Space Age cartoons and saturated hues of fire-engine red, navy, cantaloupe, and turf-green—resemble wrinkled and disintegrating clips from midcentury advertising, perhaps uncovered by a browsing thrift-shopper. Notwithstanding his kid-unfriendly book title (and the lack of ethnic diversity in his throwback art), Thurlby’s pop imagery and millennial vocabulary should grab young imaginations. Ages 3–up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
PreS Up—Slick, retro-modern design and some cheeky vocabulary choices are the main appeal of this straightforward alphabet book. Each letter is showcased in upper- and lowercase font on the left-hand pages with backgrounds derived from recycled paper materials. Facing each one is an image in the shape of the letter along with the word it represents. The illustrations are complete with dog-eared edges that give the impression of having been salvaged from yard sales. Thurlby starts off with "A for Awesome!" and a snappy A-shaped boy with a perfect '50s part in his hair. Under "F for Fierce," F appears as a snarling lion. Some of the other notable entries include a G in graffiti style, a J-shaped saxophone played by a jazz cat in vintage duds, an S-shaped space station with a very '50s astronaut ray gun in hand, and a subway traveling underground through a U-shaped tunnel. Each letter is large and clearly distinguishable. Colors are vivid and the overall design is attractive. As a child's introduction to the alphabet and corresponding vocabulary, this is a serviceable addition. However, Thurlby's primary fans will be adults intent on applying an eye for haute design to the acquisition of their children's books and playthings. Order for large collections and for units on Pop Art history aimed at older students.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
From the Publisher
Is there any new way left to present the alphabet? The answer is "yes", as this graphic artist demonstrates when he applies his retro style to the ABCs. . . . Skillfully constructed and cleverly composed, it's an awesome alphabet book that adults will also appreciate.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

As is the custom with most such books, we travel in orderly fashion from A to B to C and onward, but here most letters take the shape of an object or idea-or the object or idea takes the shape of the letter, depending-with results that are both surprising and refreshing.
—Wall Street Journal

Each of Thurlby's letters is meticulously conceived - he often uses old books and pieces of paper for backgrounds, and his art has a very stylized, retro feel.
—PRI's The World

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Thurlby's ABC is now in a board book format. Each letter has its own page; the text is simply in the form of "A for Awesome," B for Bounce," "C for Catch," etc. Some of the digitally created upper case letters refer to nouns, like "L for lights" and "T for trapeze." Others use adjectives, like "F for fierce" or "P for pretty," or even verbs like "H for Hang" and "W for wave." Each exemplifies the author's inventiveness and sense of humor as well as concern for sharp esthetic design as the letter is included as part of an illustration of the object or action. "A" forms the body of a kid who is "awesome." Two "E" shapes embrace. Two snow-covered peaks in a forest scene at night make the "M" for mountain. A man hanging from a bar forms the letter "T." Another plus is a different type face for each word. Youngsters might want to try making their own ABC with letters included in the art. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763655655
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 805,318
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Thurlby graduated from University of Buckinghamshire and became a full-time illustrator, whose graphic style is instantly recognizable. He is a regular contributor to many publications, including THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, THE INDEPENDENT, and THE BIG ISSUE. Paul Thurlby lives in England.

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