Leave it to a cartoonist (in this case, a regular contributor to the New Yorker) to cleverly create a picture book–length comic strip out of the alphabet.
A mouse is Asleep in a chair opposite a hole in the wall when a Ball bounces through the hole into his lap. Next, a Dog’s nose pokes through the hole followed by its Feet, and the chase is on! The mouse Jumps, hiding behind a curtain, but his tail gives him away: Oops! Will this end badly? No, the shrewd mouse gives the dog a wrapped present—a new ball. Each letter appears on one page, typically exemplified by just one word (exceptions are I’ll chase, To Dog, Living room, Very Cool) with the capital letter in a colorful type. The simple line drawings of the gray mouse and brown-eared, yellow-furred dog place the two characters front and center against the white backdrop, dramatizing the action and reactions. Some of the word choices are obvious, such as Pounce, Quick, Run, Wag, and only a few are unexpected: Missing, Nowhere, Unwrap, and Xoxo. Twohy could have gone the traditional route of portraying a cat-and-mouse adventure, but using a dog gives the romp relatively more energy and excitement.
Give this “alphabet caper” an F for Fun. (Picture book. 4-9)