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An Excessive Alphabet: Avalanches of As to Zillions of Zs Hardcover – Picture Book, 1 December 2016
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With their customary exuberance, the Barretts shovel a heaping helping of letters, along with dozens of things whose names begin with said letters, into 26 busy cartoon scenes. A cascade of cans containing a cow, a cupcake, carrots, and crayons tumbles out of a closet on the page for the letter C; an iguana, ice cream, and an igloo float on an island of Is; a walrus, a witch, and other workers wallow in “whopping amounts of Ws.” Unlike John Nickle’s Alphabet Explosion (2006) and most other ABCs of this sort, there are no hints or labels on the pages themselves about what all the individual objects are, but the end pages feature a complete index (in words only, not images) of the included items. The pictures aren’t so populous or tangled with distractions that young viewers who are still working on identification skills will go away frustrated. A final page offers a jumble of items, sending young readers to search for them in the previous pages for a mild challenge. — John Peters -- Booklist online ― August 18, 2016
What this alphabet book lacks in plot, it makes up for in energetic search-andfind illustrations—and hilarity. The Barretts explore the alphabet with one colorful, Chwast-like picture after another. For example, “Avalanches of As” shows a bunch of As (both lowercase and uppercase) consorting with a wild assortment of pictures of A words: apple, ant, airplane, addition, angel, artichoke, acorn, etc. This particular page’s illustrations are muted purples, pinks, and oranges; however, each letter of the alphabet gets its own color scheme, which adds to the high-energy feel. Every page follows the same pattern—Boatloads of Bs, Cans of Cs, Dozens of Ds, and so on. One test of an alphabet book is the letter Q. Here it’s “Quarts of Qs,” with quart containers containing some of the traditional Q words: quilt, quarterback, quack, quill, and question. Not bad, especially when the other pages tickle the funny bone with Umpteen Us or Endless Es (inspired by Escher, no less) and Gobs of Gs. The final page is made up of items found in the previous pages to go back and search for. Not many actual words appear in all (the pictures do most of the talking), but the book is lots of fun to pore over. -- Horn Book Magazine ― November/December 2016
About the Author
Ron Barrett is the internationally bestselling illustrator of many books for children, including Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Pickles to Pittsburgh, Superhero Joe, Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, Lots More Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, and An Excessive Alphabet. His illustrations have been honored by the Society of Illustrators and have been exhibited at The Louvre in Paris. He lives in New York City.
- Publisher : Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (1 December 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 40 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1481439863
- ISBN-13 : 978-1481439862
- Reading age : 4 - 8 years
- Dimensions : 21.59 x 1.02 x 27.94 cm
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