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THE ALPHABET FROM Z TO A by Judith Viorst

THE ALPHABET FROM Z TO A

(With Much Confusion on the Way)

By Judith Viorst (Author) , Richard Hull (Illustrator)

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-689-31768-9
Publisher: Atheneum

 The well-known humorist uses a reverse alphabet to explore, and rail about, the idiosyncracies of English (``Y is for YEW and for YOU,/But it isn't for USING''), touching on the vagaries of homonyms and spelling, slipping in rhymes after teasing the ear by seeming to withhold them, and engaging in other wordplay (``J is for JEWEL but not GEM./It cannot be for GENIUS,/But can be for JERK''). Meanwhile, in Hull's precisely rendered vignettes, silhouetted on clean white, curiosities with appropriate initials are amalgamated into surreal, jewel-like little compositions; though most of the items are well known, identifying some is a real challenge (a knight ``with kyphosis--a humpback''); still, all is revealed in a long concluding list. A handsome puzzle book that also enhances appreciation for our quirky mother tongue. (Picture book. 9-12)