Kirkus Reviews QR Code
G IS FOR ONE GZONK! by Tony DiTerlizzi Kirkus Star


An Alpha-number-bet Book

by Tony DiTerlizzi & illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-85290-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

In memorable homage to his dedicatees Dr. Seuss and Edward Lear, DiTerlizzi introduces an unruly alphabet of imaginary “creachlings,” colored in flat hues to evoke the printing processes of the previous century’s middle decades and described in sprightly verse. Bidding readers, “say good-bye to boring books / where ‘bears can bounce a ball,’ ” the author, who portrays himself in the pictures as an owlish lad wielding a paintbrush, starts out conventionally enough—“A is for an Angry Ack. / He eats your dirty clothes. / His favorite snack is stinky socks / with jam packed in the toes.” Soon, however, he finds himself struggling with entries that wander in out of order, thanks to a multiplying coterie of floating, beanlike “Teedle-Weenie Woo” that, being numbers rather than letters, make a bid to hijack the whole project. Ultimately, he comes to an accommodation with the interlopers, but his effort to kick off a “123” after reaching the “Zanderiffic Zibble Zook” takes an ominous turn when Ack and company pop back into view. Fans of If I Ran the Zoo (1950), or silly alphabets in general, will delight in tracking the burgeoning chaos while trying to wrap their tongues around the droll monikers of this manic menagerie. (Picture book. 6-8)