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An Annoying ABC Hardcover – September 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375867082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375867088
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, July 25, 2011:
"Bottner's deadpan, minimalist text inspires Emberley to some terrific portraits in extremis--this isn't just an alphabet book, it's an encyclopedia of kindergarten deportment, from aggression to zealotry."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, October 2011:
Miss Mabel’s class roll includes an alphabetical assortment of children’s names. Readers meet each child in consecutive order, unfortunately engaged in a domino effect of unneighborly behavior. “It was a quiet morning until… Adelaide annoyed Bailey. Bailey blamed Clyde. Clyde cried. Dexter drooled on Eloise. Eloise elbowed Flora. Flora fumed,” etc. The great chain of misbehavior culminates in Adelaide’s head-to-toe soaking, having been “zapped” by Zelda with a hose. Everyone is astonished, and, finally, everyone apologizes. Emberley keeps the action rolling along with his horizontal chain of charismatic youngsters, set against long white pages and illustrated in his sketchlike pencil-and-watercolor style. He has a knack for portraying each child’s emotion in all its precocious intensity. Touches of whimsy, such as Adelaide’s tiger costume and Miss Mabel’s floral tank top over cargo shorts over polka-dot leggings ensemble, keep the whole crew endearing despite the chaos. Each letter is highlighted by a colored box, but a swiftly moving narrative that practically demands the insertion of a few sound effects during read-aloud broadens the appeal of this ABC beyond mere concept book. While storytime audiences will appreciate this well-paced tale, individual children may wish to slow down and take a closer look at Emberley’s spunky classmates than a large group reading would allow. Fortunately, the whole effect is much more pleasing than annoying.–Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2011
What’s annoying? Adelaide annoys Bailey when she runs at him wearing her tiger costume, scaring him and causing him to let the gerbil out of its cage.
So begins a rollicking preschool/early-elementary romp featuring kids who appear in alphabetical order with a corresponding action as Adelaide sets off a domino effect. “Bailey blamed Clyde. / Clyde cried. / Dexter drooled on Eloise. / Eloise elbowed Flora. / Flora fumed.” The pandemonium that ensues is a clever visual narrative loaded with details, such as the gerbil-escape subplot. The hilarity lies in the illustrations, typical Emberley style, done in mechanical pencil and watercolors. Children (and Miss Mabel, the teacher) in the alphabetical spotlight are rendered in full color, while the other characters are in black and white against colored backgrounds. The kids sport a variety of skin colors, hairdos and clothing, with one girl (Ida) in a wheelchair. How does the mayhem resolve? When Zelda zaps Adelaide with the water hose, Adelaide, as instigator, apologizes, and so does everyone else. For the trickier letters, Q is Quentin; X is Xavier; Y is Yves. One read-through will simply not be enough to enjoy all the fun. This would make a splendid project for a classroom to make up their own alphabetical list of names.
A is for one awesome, amusing, antic alphabet book. (Alphabet picture book. 4-8)

About the Author

BARBARA BOTTNER studied painting in Paris, worked as a set desinger, toured as part of an acting ensemble, and made animated shorts for Sesame Street before turning to writing and illustrating children's books. She is the author of more than 36 books, including Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I Don't) and Bootsie Barker Bites, illustrated by Peggy Rathmann.

MICHAEL EMBERLEY has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1979. He has more than 20 books to his credit, and he has a sister and father (Rebecca and Ed) who also make children's books. His hobbies include bicycle racing, bike riding, cycling, mountain biking, and avoiding driving.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Bottner has managed to create characters that are both unique and relatable.
G.R. Davidson
The class of twenty-five students--whose names just happen to coincide with the alphabet--makes the reading fun.
Amazon Customer
There is so much to discover and revel in that kids will want to pore over it again and again.
claire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G.R. Davidson on October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The team of Bottner and Emberley have done it again. First they did it with "Miss Brooks Loves Books" and now they've done it with "An Annoying ABC"--through Barbara Bottner's hilarious text and Michael Emberley's delightful images, these two wonderful talents have created another book that is fun, funny, but mostly, meaningful. Bottner has managed to create characters that are both unique and relatable. In a chain reaction of behaviors that will be familiar to any child, Miss Mabel's class goes from peaceful to chaotic and back to peaceful...well almost.
With minimal (but oh-so expressive) words Bottner creates a story brimming with pleasing rhythms and an upbeat tempo. Bottner's text and Emberley's images are full of energy and laugh out loud humor. It is the perfect book to linger over--the illustrations are full of amusing details and expressive faces, and the text, in addition to being imaginative and amusing provides a wonderful opportunity for a genuine discussion about the strong feelings we experience as children and adults.Reading this book out loud is delightful--Bottner's alphabetic alliteration is superb. I picked this book up for my niece but before I gave it to her, I had already read it several times for my own enjoyment, and I'm 56! My six year old niece both laughed and nodded knowingly as we read through the book together. After our first reading, she went back through the pages and pointed to the children she liked best. "Why do you like Petunia so much?" I asked. Talia slapped her hand up against her mouth and giggled. "Because I'm just like her. I pester my brother all the time." Like I said, this is a book full of children behaving in honest, laughable and relatable ways.
Fabulously fun from cover to cover.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By McLitArtDance on October 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This funny, action-filled ABC book unfolds as a tumultuous day in Miss Mabel's classroom is kicked-off by Adelaide's annoying antics. One act leads to another and--like a game of emotional dominos--each alphabetically named student both gets and gives a pinch, a jab or a squirt with a hose. The tight text is packed with mischievous verbs, alliterate names and major attitude; writer, Barbara Bottner is at her cranky-kid best. Illustrator, Michael Emberley, has pulled off a feat of brilliant individual characterization (all 25 misbehaving school kids, their pear-shaped teacher and even the wayward class gerbil are consistent in their depictions, and consistently endearing and entertaining from page to page. You could read this book for years and still be finding sight jokes and gerbil subtleties.) An exuberant follow-up to "Miss Brooks Loves Books"--"An Annoying ABC" deserves an A+.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By claire on October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Bottner and Emberley are one great team! This book is a satisfying Rube Goldberg machine of small disasters and their repair and resolution. Alphabet books are not usually known for their narrative through-line, high energy level and emotional resonance, but this one has it all. There is so much to discover and revel in that kids will want to pore over it again and again.
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By Amazon Customer on June 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
An Annoying ABC by Barbara Bottner is the perfect book for parents looking to introduce the alphabet to their child. Miss Mabel's class of boisterous misbehaving students will have your child laughing and learning at the same time. The class of twenty-five students--whose names just happen to coincide with the alphabet--makes the reading fun. Least you think I have missed a letter don't forget the teacher, which makes twenty-six. Adelaide to Zelda annoy each other with perfectly matched behavior that makes for some clever alliteration. Although the children misbehavior for 26 pages all is well in the end because the children apologize to each other and settle in for a peaceful rest of the day...at least for the moment. Both the twins and Mom loved this one. Barbara Bottner,Michael Emberley'sAn Annoying ABC [Hardcover]2011
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By Michael Portis on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's called "An Annoying ABC." It's anything but that. I found it to be one of the most entertaining ABC books I've seen. One great character after another for each letter of the alphabet. Barbara Bottner's writing is very clever and funny. She creates each kid with a distinct and quirky personality. And Michael Emberley pulls off the huge feat of drawing twenty six characters (including Miss Mabel the schoolteacher) with their own charming individuality. An inspiring book for the aspiring reader. And a great follow-up to "Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don't)."
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