Gift Guide

Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book

( 1 )


At every turn these letters are full of surprises. Imagine! What other things can you discover hiding in the alphabet?

An alphabet book in which each letter becomes three different objects as the book is turned different directions, as when A becomes a bird's beak, a drippy ice cream cone, and the point of a star.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (22) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $3.98   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


At every turn these letters are full of surprises. Imagine! What other things can you discover hiding in the alphabet?

An alphabet book in which each letter becomes three different objects as the book is turned different directions, as when A becomes a bird's beak, a drippy ice cream cone, and the point of a star.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Many alphabet books transform the 26 letters into people, places or things; Ernst (Stella Louella's Runaway Book), however, gives the idea a new twist-literally-by asking readers to rotate her exuberant book 360 degrees, to view each letter from four different perspectives. Working with cut paper, Ernst sets each blocky, sans serif, capital letter against a square field of fluorescent color; in the black border that frames the letters, the text encourages readers to examine the image from each of four angles (as it wraps around the page): "C pretends to be/ an angel's halo" (as readers turn the book to view the letter, bright yellow on an orange background, positioned so that its curve points up), "macaroni and cheese" (the upside-down "C") and a hoop earring (when it rests on its curve)." Not all the suggestions are compelling-O, for example, resembles a bagel no matter how one looks at it-and some youngsters may need coaxing to notice the conceits that depend on the interplay between the letter shape and its negative space (a lime-green N turned on its side looks like "two tortilla chips headed for guacamole" because the angled lines of the letter create two triangles from the yellow field). But children who are mastering both letter recognition and the mechanics of book-reading should get a kick out of how Ernst rewards them for tweaking the rules. Ages 3-6. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
J is a monkey's tail, Q is a magnifying glass, and Z is the bend in the yellow brick road? All sorts of crazy things can happen when you look at letters sideways and upside down! This author-illustrated gem fires the imagination and teaches both children and adults alike that not everyone sees things from the same angle. What's more, young learners will delight in approaching the alphabet exclusively from a visual perspective. In an era when teachers recognize a variety of learning styles and strengths, this book should serve as an excellent tool to reach those who are primarily visual learners. 2004, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 8.
—Moira Rose Donohue
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Children who are tired of staid concept books will welcome this one-it literally turns the alphabet on its ear. Each page contains a large block letter enclosed in a square that, when viewed from a different direction-left, right, or upside-down (hence the title)-transforms into an entirely different object. For example, when "J" is rotated clockwise, it becomes, in turn, "an elephant's trunk," "a candy cane," and "a monkey's tail." Some designs, like "O," are easy to spot (bagel, owl's eye, fried egg); others, like "K" (picnic table, a mama duck with two ducklings, Martian's antennae) and "W" (two fish, a cat casting a shadow, a mountain stream), present more of a challenge. With touches of humor and a great deal of creativity, Ernst fashioned this book out of cut paper and surrounded each block with a thick black border that sets off white words. Children will enjoy tilting the pages to see the transformations and will be motivated to come up with ideas of their own.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ernst, known for funny watercolors and fractured fairy tales, makes a startling departure from her norm in this design-heavy alphabet book. As the title promises, readers will be rotating the book to see how the brightly colored cut-paper letters change with each 90-degree turn. Each letter is set into a black-bordered square against a harmonizing negative space; the hand-lettered text appears in white, turning as needed along the border. The narrative itself imagines the secret lives the letters yearn for, as "B masquerades as / a pair of goggles, / half a butterfly, / two windows in a castle tower." On any given page, the image may be created by the letter itself or by the negative space surrounding it, so the interstices between the legs of an E become an electric plug, or (in a moment of great inspiration) the yellow triangles formed by a green N become "two tortilla chips headed for guacamole." The act of turning the book 104 times in all (4 X 26) can become tedious, but the novel concept freshens up the canon of abecedaries. (Picture book. 4-8)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689856853
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 220,096
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD1130L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Campbell Ernst has written and illustrated many popular children's books, including The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book; Hannah Mae O'Hannigan's Wild West Show; Goldilocks Returns, her own version of "Little Red Riding Hood"; and Stella Louella's Runaway Book. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, Lee, and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Allison.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    The eyes have it! A very engaging visual read

    My kids (ages 3 & 8) and I enjoyed this so much, we gave it as Christmas gifts last year.

    Each page has a bold drawing of a letter of the alphabet. But as you rotate the page to the side, your perspective changes and the drawing changes from a letter to a picture. Rotate it again (to upside down), another picture. Rotate to the fourth side, yet another picture! Clever text helps those who may have trouble seeing the intended image in some of the rotations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)