Albert's Alphabet

Leslie Tryon, Author Atheneum Books $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-31642-5
When Albert the duck gets a note from the principal asking him to build an alphabet on the school playground (``We must have it by three o'clock''), he is not flustered and sets to work immediately. Plan in wing, resourceful Albert attacks his materials with confidence and vigor. The vignettes depicting the creative ways in which Albert fashions the letters, with the clock ticking in the background, are ingenious in themselves, as are the finished products. Occasional aerial views reveal more of Albert's mechanics and expand the book's excellent spatial qualities. Tryon continues the suspense established with Albert's deadline: after the letter ``N,'' ``Albert used all of his lumber. What will he use now?'' Readers need not fear, since firewood, stovepipes, topiary and even--in a gloriously inventive finale--the workshop itself are employed to the fullest as this diligent duck completes his mission just in time. The challenge inherent in trying to second-guess Albert in his constructive quest makes this a useful tool for preschoolers. Unlike traditionally static alphabet renderings, the activity here is interesting enough to invite many repeat readings. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-689-71799-4
Prebound-Sewn - 40 pages - 978-0-606-06167-4
Prebound-Sewn - 40 pages - 978-0-7857-5542-5
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