cover image ABC


William Wegman. Hyperion Books, $17.95 (64pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-696-3

The wizard of weimaraners outdoes himself in posing his graceful canines to illustrate A through Z. The four members of a weimaraner squad, positioned on a colorless ground and photographed from above, form the shape of each letter. Below, a caption enlivened by alliteration or other wordplay includes a key word spelled out in the weimaraner-made letters (the copyright page drolly identifies this makeshift ``typeface'' as ``60-point Weimaraner''). Full-page color photos face each letter: for instance, the ``G'' page reads, ``Fay is glamorous in her gorgeous gloves and gown''; opposite, weimaraner Fay Ray is seen decked out in a strapless dress. The captions are clever, but the photographs are no less than superb, demonstrating the range of Wegman's wit and technical excellence. The illustration for Q, for example, shows Fay in a crown and an elaborately trimmed robe ``standing'' upright beside a throne, against a background of deepest ruby. The campy overtones of Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella have vanished, ceding the field to unfettered, non-narrative fun. All ages. (May)