Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE DANGEROUS ALPHABET by Neil Gaiman

THE DANGEROUS ALPHABET

By Neil Gaiman (Author) , Gris Grimly (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-078333-4
Publisher: HarperCollins

Normal abecedarian fodder gets a poke in the ribcage with this most unusual alphabet tale. A boy and a girl clad in rumpled Victorian weeds and their stalwart gazelle navigate both monsters and madmen in hopes of reaching their final destination. Unfortunately, along the way the girl is taken captive and it's up to the boy and gazelle to rescue her from a series of ingenious nightmares. Each letter of the alphabet occupies one half of a rhyming couplet, objects that begin with each letter appearing on the pages in a sort of Gothic Animalia (Graeme Base, 1986). Grimly’s gleefully ghoulish Tim Burton-esque line-and-watercolor illustrations are the star here. The letters have a haphazard relationship to their couplets, as with “Z waits alone and it's not for a thing,” and there is one instance in which two letters appear out of order, rendering this alphabet “not to be relied upon.” Fans of both creators’ works will seek this title out, as will adults of the macabre persuasion. Children appear to be a secondary consideration. (Picture book. 7-12)