The War Between the Vowels and the Consonants

Priscilla Turner, Author, Whitney Turner, Illustrator Farrar Straus Giroux $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-38236-0
In the turn-of-the-century world pictured in this clever ""history,"" upper-case Vowels don't let their lower-case kids play with little Consonants, and ""Consonants [prefer] their own sounds: PRGHT! or SSSSP! Good, strong, snapping noises."" Petty skirmishes escalate into a civil war: Vowels strategize (""We'll hit them with our screeching sounds""), Consonants attack an EIEIO formation (""Let those barnyard sounds try to stop the snarling GRRR's"") and Y's become ""a house divided."" The Turners, a sister-and-brother team, trump standard alphabet books with this singular story, which concludes as the battling letters finally unite to fight a greater foe: a giant, illegible scribble. Priscilla Turner's inventive wordplay is an exercise in pronunciation, as when the Consonants send in ""the freezing BR's."" Whitney Turner's expressive Vowels and Consonants posture with stick arms and legs and the merest hints of facial features. They do battle in single-engine planes shaped like T's and E's, and at the happy ending, dancing pairs spell out ""WE"" and ""US."" What a bunch of characters! Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-374-48217-6
Paperback - 30 pages - 978-0-590-68952-6
Prebound-Other - 29 pages - 978-0-606-17221-9
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