From A, where we meet Edmund the astronaut to Z, where Edmund the astronaut buys a Zeppelin, these twenty-six short stories use the alphabet in order to entertain readers. Each letter has its own story and the highlighted letter is repeated in numerous words throughout the tiny tales. This is a wonderful method for teaching young readers, and at the same time, is not distracting for older readers. While the stories follow the order of the alphabet, they sometimes humorously lead the readers to another letter, and then back again. For instance, when reading about “E” an enigma, we are urged to move to letter “N” for the final conclusion. Don’t worry, we are directed back in time to catch up with Ferdinand and his experience with a really long forever!
I have read many books by Oliver Jeffers. His words and illustrations crossover all age ranges. In this book of what I would term “very” short stories, it was the combination of the characters, predicaments and art that made me want to write and share this review.
My personal favorite stories are about:
B: Bernard, Bob and the Bridge
D: Danger Delilah
J: Jemima and the use of Jelly
R: Robots and Rain Clouds
T: The Terrible Typewriter
The last story I noted “The Terrible Typewriter” will resonate with not only readers, but writers as well. It’s a fun mini lesson in being careful of the stories you tell.
While we are on the subject of story telling and writing, I thought the elements used in every story were not only intriguing, but extremely well crafted. The characterization, actions, settings, plots and conflicts were presented through both the art and words.
I hope that you will read this book. If you do, please feel free to share your thoughts in our forum.
Title: Once Upon An Alphabet — Short Stories for all the Letters
By: Oliver Jeffers, Author and Illustrator
Publisher: Philomel Books, An Imprint of Penguin Group USA
Oliver Jeffers was born in Australia and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He is an artist, designer, illustrator and writer.
*Review Note — The copy of Once Upon An Alphabet — Short Stories for all the Letters I used for this review is from my personal library.