From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4—The introduction to this book is a little clunky; it's rather wordy and difficult to read with black letters in a small font against a dark gray background. Things become more interesting once that page is turned. An alphabet of animals is presented, each one cleverly composed of its initial letter in a typeface that often suits the characteristics of that creature—a spiky alligator, shaggy sheep, etc. Fold-out pages allow for the impressive height of the giraffe or the length of the alligator to be revealed. Small boxes on the bottom and sides of the pages show how using a different typeface for a particular letter render it suitable for a different purpose—a loopy "l" for lasso as opposed to some that lean or bend slightly for laziness. There is a lot to examine here, and readers should return repeatedly to do just that. Suggestions follow for children to try inventing their own typefaces, and to investigate the Web site for the Type Directors Club. Young readers will enjoy the animals while older children will have a greater appreciation for the book's artistry.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Starred Review. No ordinary abecedarian, this typographical trip will wow design fans and suggest creative projects with letterforms. The book s introduction speaks affectionately of typefaces just like people, they look different and have different personalities before embarking on a thrilling spin through the alphabet. The first spread presents an alligator s silhouette, made up of capital and lowercase As, as the repeated word algae forms green strands around it. A bat shaped from gothic Bs holds vampire connotations; tall, skinny Gs evoke the height of a giraffe that hides behind leafy, vertical folds; and breathless italic Rs make a rabbit seem poised to leap. Werner and Forss, a debuting team of graphic designers, devote page borders to extra wordplay: a C becomes the curved back and tail of a cat, a K s extended foot kicks a soccer ball, a cursive L is a lasso and rounded Ps nestle in a pod. Innovations arrive several to a page, rewarding repeat visits and encouraging readers to muse on the power of type and all that letters and words can imply or insinuate.