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PAUL THURLBY'S ALPHABET by Paul Thurlby Kirkus Star


by Paul Thurlby & illustrated by Paul Thurlby

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5565-5
Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Is there any new way left to present the alphabet? The answer is Yes, as this graphic artist demonstrates when he applies his retro style to the ABCs.

From a cover that features a boy’s head and arms on a body shaped like the letter A to Z for zipper, the illustrator explains that he “pursues the challenge of fusing the object of the word with the shape of the letter.” His approach succeeds in a fascinating way. The lower- and upper-case letter is centered on the verso pages against textured, vividly colored papers, while the letter designs appear on the recto and have a posterlike quality. E for embrace is depicted with two E letters fitted together like tongue and groove, for example. The word choices are unusual: G for graffiti; K for karate (a boy’s robed body makes a K shape); P for pretty; Q for quicksand; H for hang (a monkey is hanging from the bars of the letter H in a Hangman game). The digital-media artwork has a distinctive look that will be best appreciated by young ones who already know the ABCs.

Skillfully constructed and cleverly composed, it’s an awesome alphabet book that adults will also appreciate. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-7)