A gorgeously illustrated book with a clever concept.



A boy makes an elaborate excuse for a missing school assignment in this rhyming alphabet picture book.

Elementary school teacher Mrs. May asks her student Jet why he didn’t complete his assignment to write out the alphabet. The boy explains that he did complete it—but the letters ran away or simply disappeared off the page. Jet goes on to detail what happened to each one: “B was so sad that she didn’t stay. / C left as well; he wanted to play.” After chronicling the whereabouts of the entire alphabet, Mrs. May tells Jet that the letters will “pay for their crimes,” and she instructs the boy to write out the alphabet 20 times, much to his dismay. Fegan’s (Don't Ever Look Behind Door 32, 2018, etc.) rhyme scheme is smooth, with short sentences and child-friendly language. Returning collaborator Wen’s fantastic illustrations further enhance the story. Most show Jet attempting to find the runaway letters, depicted as playful, monsterlike creatures. The whimsical scenery is richly colored, with each page offering clever details and subtext. For instance, the “P” creature resembles a purse-carrying peacock, with items starting with “P” (plants, pumpkin, pie) subtly appearing in the background. Both Jet and Mrs. May appear to be Caucasian, and the other students include people of color.

A gorgeously illustrated book with a clever concept.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-925810-00-4

Page Count: 34

Publisher: TaleBlade

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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