An inspired first book by an Australian minister who describes it as ""verbal doodling"": beginning with ""A is for Apple. Everyone knows that,"" she goes on to an increasingly nonsensical ""House That Jack Built""-style cumulative pattern (""G is for Gun/the farmer used/to scare the elephant/that sat on the dog..."") with a unique surprise ending. The challenge of ""X"" is met with unusual aplomb (""X marks the spot/ the wombat used/ to bury the vase...""); then ""Y is for Yowie""--a splendid imaginary creature with six eyes--that ate the whole lot, one by one--""and then burst!,"" leaving Z for Zero. McRae's elegantly stylized illustrations are formed of areas of vibrant pattern and subtly modulated color, pieced together like a crazy quilt and dramatically displayed on stark white. A handsome book with a visual sophistication that will appeal to children as well as to adults and a truly original cumulation that should provide hours of fun.