If words make up the stories and letters make up the words, then stories are made up of letters. In this menagerie we have stories made of words, made FOR all the letters.
The most inventive and irresistible book of the year spans a mere 26 letters (don't they all!) and 112 pages. From an Astronaut who's afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, Once Upon an Alphabet is a creative tour de force from A through Z. Slyly funny in a way kids can't resist, and gorgeously illustrated in a way readers of all ages will pour over, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet in a way that will forever raise the bar.
In Once Upon an Alphabet, #1 New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers has created a stunning collection of words and artwork that is a story book, alphabet book, and gorgeously designed art book all in one.
Praise for ONCE UPON AN ALPHABET:
An Amazon Best Book of 2014!
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year!
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year!
A New York Times Bestseller!
* "The silly, spare, slightly surreal text occasionally rhymes and endlessly surprises. An utterly delightful alphabet book."–Kirkus Review, starred review
* "With wry humor, equally droll ink illustrations, and a solid dose of alliteration, Jeffers creates delightful mini-narratives for each letter of the alphabet."–Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "An altogether stimulating, surprising, and satisfying reading experience."–School Library Journal, starred review
* "Whimsical, funny, occasionally tragic, and highly entertaining, this collection of (sometimes) interlocking tales is brilliantly inventive."–Horn Book, starred review
"Jeffers knows how to catch the attention of his young audience while challenging their imagination, intellect and vocabulary. This whimsical exploration of letters and language begs to be read over and over again."–BookPage
"Handsome, humorous and clad in bright tomato-red, [this] is the sort of book you may want to rush into the arms of imaginative, good-natured children between 4 and 10 years old. [T]his is no traditional abecedarian exercise.The stories are wonderfully varied, sometimes philosophical and often end surprisingly; the drawings are just as quirky and unpredictable."–The Wall Street Journal
"[W]itty from A to Z . . . no one would blame you for having a copy even if there are no kids in the house. Think of it as Edward Gorey for the preschool set — and their hip parents."–The Washington Post
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What People are Saying About This
"Jeffers knows how to catch the attention of his young audience while challenging their imagination, intellect and vocabulary. This whimsical exploration of letters and language begs to be read over and over again."Book Page
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Delightfully weird in the tradition of Edward Gorey but also uniquely Jeffers. I wonder about the uses for this as it is quite bulky but I suppose it could be read in any number of ways. I like the over-arching nature of the stories (particularly the Owl and the Octopus) and how some letters (E and N) tie back to each other. Very, very clever. You can sort of see how all of Jeffers' other works have been moving toward this one. I also feel like there is something to be done here integrating this one with work on flash fiction.
My daughter is a teacher and this book is on her "must have" list.
Once Upon An Alphabet Oliver Jeffers Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers This book allows the alphabet to come alive in a whole new way. Each letter of the alphabet has its there own story, and some of the stories of the letters connect. An example of one of the stories that I enjoyed is letter C. Letter C is about cup in the cupboard. This short story is about a cup that lives in a dark cupboard and has always dreamed of living near the window. When the cup decides to move near the window, he jumps out the cupboard and breaks. The illustrations really make this book phenomenal. The illustrations fill up the whole page and really help children understand what is going on, even if they cannot read the words in the book yet. The illustrations are all different based on what the story is for each letter, but throughout the book, Jeffers uses pale pastel colors for his illustrations, which I feel make the stories more interesting. This book is a great source to teach children the alphabet and allows the child to learn new words that start with the same letter of the alphabet that they are reading about. The book has amazing illustrations and has very funny stories, making it an excellent book all in all. BIBLIO: 2014, Penguin Group, Ages 5 to 10, $18.10. REVIEWER: Tayler Caulder FORMAT: Picture Book ISBN: 978-0-698-19630-8