Okay, I admit it. I think Oliver Jeffers is a genius. He is so dang creative and playful and you always, always have the sense he is in the background laughing at whatever he has written and or drawn. Life is one big party in Oliver Jeffers world of books. Who better to teach our children the alphabet?
Recently, Mr. Jeffers, sir, illustrated the complaints of crayons. Each crayon had a chance to stand in the spotlight and have her or his grievances aired. Each crayon mattered. (THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT by Drew Daywalt)
This time he has taken on the alphabet. Now, in our day and age, we are all aware of the power of story. Our brains are actually wired for story. We dream stories for ourselves every night.
So, it makes perfect sense that to "teach" the alphabet to young learners, we would call upon the wondrous power of story to make these foreign shapes come to life, look like they might be worth knowing and sink in.
One by one, story by story, we are introduced to each letter. These are no ordinary stories. There is whimsy and there is flummery and there is a complete abandonment of anything didactic. There is also tragedy. See letter T.
In fact, we get to know the letters as people and they do the oddest things. Would you make your door out of jelly? Well, Jessica did. She figured she could just reach through it any time she had forgotten her keys.
There are enigmas and incidents of vanquishing. There is vocabulary young readers will not find elsewhere. It's a celebration of letters and stories and language and all the tricks and designs and concoctions one can contrive with these amazing tools.
In short, this is an introduction to all the wonderful stories ahead in this young alphabet-learners reading life to come. Thank you Oliver for this grand invitation. The most reluctant reader will come to your party and remember it for years to come.
978-0007514274 Ages 4-8 112 pages
Recommended by: Barb, abookandahug.com