cover image Elfabet: An ABC of Elves

Elfabet: An ABC of Elves

Jane Yolen. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-96900-0

Yolen, one of the most prolific writers for children these days (see preceding review), is back again--this time with an alphabet book. Library and bookstore shelves may groan under the weight of such volumes, but writers and illustrators never seem to tire of the concept. It seems a particularly curious choice for Yolen, whose talents certainly deserve better than a format this lightweight. Twenty-six elves (who must have sprung from one enormous litter, as their faces are nearly identical), each devoted to a single letter (``T is for Tinsel Elf terribly tangled''), cavort on cream-colored pages decorated with other alphabetically related items (teacup, toad, trumpet, etc.). Mills's fey illustrations have an old-fashioned look some readers will find alluring, but many will prefer to choose from the abundance of more inspired and dynamic alphabet books currently available. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)