Friday, August 27, 2010

Alphabeasties and other Amazing Types

by Sharon Werner and Sarah Foss
$19.99, ages 4-8, 56 pages

Gulp. Don't look now. There's an alligator made up of hundreds of letter "A's" swimming across the page.

And isn't that a giraffe shaped by elongated "g's" folding out from the top and bottom of another?

In this clever book, readers visit a zoo of animals made entirely of the first letter of the animal's name and learn to recognize every letter of the alphabet in a variety of typefaces -- from "K's" that look as puffy as clouds to "L's" that twirl like lassos.

Along the way they discover how to turn letters into doodles and practice sounding out the first letters of the names of each drawing.

My favorite alphabet doodles: Using "mm" to make a "moustache" below a balding fellow's nose and "T's" to fill in a boy's mouth with "teeth" (with a few missing in between).

The book ends with an encouraging note to readers to come up with their own typeface and letter animal for the alphabeastie zoo.

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