The Alphabet’s Alphabet

Chris Harris, illus. by Dan Santat. Little, Brown, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-26662-8
This alphabet comedy by Harris (I’m Just No Good at Rhyming) uncovers unexpected family resemblances between letters of the Latin alphabet: “For all of the letters—from A on through Z—/ Can look like each other in some way, to me.” “A G is a Q that has started to yawn/ An H is a U with a pair of stilts on.” In spreads with warm, dramatic lighting; sunny colors; and plenty of word balloon chatter, Santat (Lift) portrays the letters as physical bodies, bent and straight, portly and thin, and supplies domestic particulars: G’s bedroom has a heavy metal band poster on the wall (“AB/CD”) and a stuffed lower-case r to cuddle. The collaboration produces an amusing, imaginative excursion, and it prods readers—especially those new to reading and writing—to visualize similarities between the symbols. Harris’s versifying nails rhyme and meter, and Santat’s endless stream of energy (J slumps, sunburned in a deck chair, to become a U, having lost its sunglasses and knocked over its drink) delivers one over-the-top gag after another. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. Illustrator’s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/16/2020
Release date: 09/29/2020
Genre: Children's
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