Buy “Once Upon an Alphabet Short Stories for All the Letters (0884784272804) Oliver Jeffers Books” Online
I’d like to start by saying I love this book. It has wonderful “Oliver Jeffers” type illustrations, and, if your kids read any of his other stuff, the penguin and the boy from “Lost and Found” make an appearance, as does the bear from “The Great Paper Caper. ” I love that this book doesn’t dumb things down. Yes, the book uses the word “molecule”. There is no reason why you can’t expose a preschooler to the word “molecule”. The stories are strange, but good. There are a lot of metaphors that can be explained literally or in their metaphorical sense, if you have time to sit with your child and enjoy explaining things to them. Every page has a lot going on, and you can spend forever with your child looking for things that start with that letter, or talking about the pictures, or finishing the letters’ story. You might think each letter gets a full story- they don’t. Some are just one page blurbs, and I didn’t really care for that, which is why I gave it four stars instead of five. Also, it’s petty, but the dust jacket for this book was so insanely bright that I had to take it off. So beware. This book is strangely aged. You are not buying an “A is for Apple” board book. However, my nieces and nephews range from 2 to 11, and they all loved this book for different reasons. My two year old niece liked looking for the letters and the different pictures that start with those letters. My 8 year old nephew liked that Vincent has an attitude problem and sits in the closet. My 11 year old niece liked the cucumber that falls into the sea, and the owl and the whale that are detectives. I absolutely do not understand why people are calling this book “dark” or “morbid”. No child on earth is going to be traumatized because a cup fell from a cupboard, because a lumberjack gets electrocuted and uses his new powers to run his night light, or because a lazy girl refuses to finish her house and rolls into the ocean. If your children watch Disney movies they’ve seen and experienced far more than these supposed traumas. And do not try and pretend your 3 year old hasn’t seen Bambi, Up, or Finding Nemo. I did ask my nieces and nephews what they thought, or if they felt scared or sad or uncertain, and my 6 year old niece said, “well that girl shoulda been smart and finished her house like her mom prob’ly said to. ” And that was good enough for me. If you’re really concerned, check it out at the library first, or read it WITH your child. Ask them how they feel. Be amazed that kids aren’t fragile flowers waiting to fall apart. Also, people who comment “I really loved “The Day the Crayons Quit” and I don’t understand why this wasn’t written like that!” make me think they’re not actually reading these books. I’d like to remind people that “The Day the Crayons Quit” was not written by Oliver Jeffers- he was the illustrator. Drew Daywalt wrote that book, and it’s not going to be the same as this one. Check it out!
From School Library Journal Gr 1–4—Jeffers’s empathic nature, evident from his sympathetic renderings of Drew Daywalt’s beleaguered crayons in The Day the Crayons Quit (Philomel, 2013), here extends to the hardworking letters. This eccentric and entertaining anthology is introduced by an eloquent syllogism about the relationship of letters, words, and stories. While each four-page tale showcases a (seemingly) hand-drawn capital and lowercase letter, and many of the words—and unnamed objects—begin with the corresponding letter, this is not your mother’s abecedarium. It is a framework for Jeffers’s intriguing worldview, combining ludicrous juxtapositions and situations and a great capacity for gentleness. Some passages are scientific: “Mary is made of matter….she got sucked through a microscope and became the size of a molecule.” The facing page shows Mary floating under the lens. The blackboard-style background is filled with “molecular” diagrams (mattresses, a moose, mums). Other sections are a mite macabre: “Jack Stack the Lumberjack has been struck by lightning one hundred and eleven times….” The lightning illuminates a skeleton, but after the page turn, the man appears in his jammies, normal, except that he can provide his own electricity. There is humor in the alliteration and mixed-media scenes: a puzzled parsnip, Victor the vanquished “plotting his vengeance,” and an enigma featuring elephants and envelopes. The author respects his readers’ intelligence, inserting expansive vocabulary, cameos from characters in previous books, people and plot threads that cross stories, and quiet details to discover in subsequent readings. An altogether stimulating, surprising, and satisfying reading experience.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library
Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters Hardcover – October 14, 2014 by Oliver Jeffers (Author, Illustrator) Review
My son is 5 and reads at 2nd grade level, so he had no issues reading the book. He was quite puzzled at the stories though and none of them made him laugh even though he has a good sense of humor, sometimes I hear him reading by himself WTP stories and laughing out loud. Maybe it’s made for kids that learn to read later because the reading level and the level of the jokes does not fit. Or maybe I misunderstood and it’s made for adults. He found it actually sad that the cup kept on breaking apart, being glued and looking ugly. I personally enjoyed it but my son and his mom did not find it funny at all. De gustibus. -Read Reviews-
I was worried after reading the reviews, but this book it not that dark! Calm down everyone, kids see so much worse on tv, it doesn’t register to them as dark. For example c is a cup that longs to be free, so he jumps out of the cupboard. He breaks on the counter. Only adults would think "sound the alarm, c jumped to his death!!!!" Kids just think "oh man, c didn’t use self control, or plan it through" these little stories are perfect for kinder aged kids.
Tags: Ages 4-8 Fiction, Alphabet, Alphabet books, Children: Kindergarten, Children's Books, Concepts, Concepts - Alphabet, Early learning: ABC books, Humorous stories, Juvenile Fiction, Oliver Jeffers, Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters, Philomel Books, Preschool Picture Story Books, Short stories