cover image G Is for One Gzonk! An Alpha-Number-Bet Book

G Is for One Gzonk! An Alpha-Number-Bet Book

Tony DiTerlizzi, . . S&S, $16.95 (68pp) ISBN 978-0-689-85290-9

DiTerlizzi (The Spider and the Fly ) cleverly concocts new words for each letter of the alphabet in his romp of a read, sure to titillate readers' senses with its silly sounds. His alter ego Tiny DiTerlooney is along for the ride, likening this lesson to a visit to the theatre more than a day at school ("So say good-bye to boring books/ where 'bears can bounce a ball,'/ and turn the page;/ I've set the stage,/ and nothing makes sense at all"). The narrative sends up dated elementary school primers: the text features pristinely printed upper and lowercase letters at the top of each page and the featured creature (e.g., an Angry Ack ) in bold type—but the spread gives way to off-the-wall illustrations, coupled with inventive vocabulary and wry handprinted commentary ("Acks are generally the color red. The word 'red' has nothing to do with the letter A"). "Dinkalicious Dinky" and the two-headed "Neenel-Nonnel" bring to mind Dr. Seuss, as do the whimsical images of the "creachlings" in a design reminiscent of 1950s picture books (DiTerlizzi fans will recognize the pink star of Ted as the "Hungry Hoofle-Foofle"). Things go a bit awry when the Ravenous Rotoid crashes into the line-up after Large Licky Lickins, and by the time readers reach the letter P , they may not even realize the subtly inserted counting games. While this book may not expand readers' skill sets, it could easily ignite a love of learning. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)