cover image The Christmas Alphabet

The Christmas Alphabet

Robert Clarke Sabuda. Orchard Books (NY), $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-531-06857-1

A marvel of paper engineering, this paper-over-board alphabet book transcends the usual connotations of ``pop-up.'' Four large flaps per spread-each representing a letter of the alphabet-open to reveal sophisticated 3-D images, some with parts that move in uncommonly inventive ways. Many of the pop-ups are obvious Christmas symbols: the Manger, a Nutcracker and a Poinsettia (the last-mentioned blooms majestically when the flap is lifted). Others have ambiguous-but resourceful-ties to the holiday: a Kiss is portrayed by two reindeer, face-to-face; and two frolicking snowmen are Friends. Representing the final letter is an obviously tuckered-out Santa (``Zzzzzzz''), asleep on his pillow. A yuletide gem. All ages. (Sept.)