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  • List Price: $16.99
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E-mergency! has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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E-mergency! Hardcover – October 19, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Picture books often get by on a single comic device, but Lichtenheld and his collaborator, 15-year-old Fields-Meyer, pack their alphabet book with jokes--it's like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on steroids. Comprehensive, witty entertainment from A to Z. 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY starred review

"Every page is chock-full of inventive letter-play" - The New York Times

There are laughs, many laughs, on every page." - Chicago Tribune

"Zany" - Kirkus Reviews

"Witty entertainment from A to Z." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"What happens when the letter "E'' has an accident and slides out of the language? Sheer madness, enhanced by Lichtenheld and Fields-Meyers's unceasingly witty, manic visual, and verbal jokes." - Boston Globe Best Books The Year

"Visual and print punnery will have elementary kids (and adults) guessing and laughing". - Kirkus Reviews

"This book is a hilarious way to appreciate the vowel E - and practice deciphering secret codes. I've never read such a wacky book that is so fun to read aloud with the kids!" - Babble.com/Top 20 Children's Books of 2011

"This artwork takes a funny story and makes it hilarious.... Kids and adults will get more of the sly humor each time they read this book." - School Library Journal, Starred Review

"The pages are jam-packed with so many linguistic puns, acronyms, and jokes that readers may not realize how much they're learning about language along the way. Throo choors!" - Publishers Weekly Best Children's Picture Books of 2011

"Nontraditional, rascally, downright hilarious alphabet book" - Booklist, starred review

"It's like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on steroids."- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Five- to eight-year olds will be charmed by this alphabet book's good humor and the rib-tickling illustrations that accompany the text. Me too." - Nancy Pearl, Book Lust, Seattle, WA

About the Author

TOM LICHTENHELD loves drawing pictures and telling silly stories. His books include the New York Times best sellers Duck! Rabbit!, Shark Vs. Train, and Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.

EZRA FIELDS-MEYER is a high school student and an expert on animated movies and animals. He is the creator of the animated short Alphabet House, which inspired this book, and is the subject of the memoir Following Ezra (by his father, Tom Fields-Meyer). He and his family live in Los Angeles, California.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811878988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811878982
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Children's book author & illustrator Tom Lichtenheld writes for kids who love to laugh and adults who love to laugh along with them. See all of his books and get a glimpse of how he creates them at tomlichtenheld.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We got our copy of E-mergency this afternoon. My 7 year-old daughter and 4 year-old son read this together and could not stop laughing. I read it with my kids before bedtime -- and WE could not stop laughing. Like the best family entertainment, this book is accessible for the youngest readers, but sophisticated enough to keep older kids and adults completely entertained. The story is simple, clever, and charming -- the letter "E" is injured and needs time to recuperate, requiring everyone to substitute the letter "O" instead. Try living without the letter "E" -- it turns out to bo quito a challongo. And besides being difficult, it made my kids laugh out loud. Bonus: When a car goes "boop boop," and a great snack is "ico croam," not only do we all laugh, but my kids wanted to read every word themselves, looking for the next opportunity to crack themselves up. In addition to the main plot, there are lots of small digressions on almost every page, giving the reader the opportunity to decide the pace of the book. E-mergency could easily be a five-minute or a twenty-minute read. The language and humor invite older readers to be "in" on more and more of the jokes and puns. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and inviting, giving my kids even more incentive to be drawn in to the story. In short, E-mergency is a comploto winnor.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am the mother of four young boys, ranging in age from 2 to 10. This is a tough book to review because it's sort of in between categories.

I couldn't find a recommended age group anywhere so I started out at the bottom, reading it aloud to my two younger sons (2 and 4). It was a total flop. They liked the pictures but didn't follow any of the intricacies of the story because it's so heavily based upon reading puns and mispelled words (since the letter 'E' was injured falling down the stairs and they had to make words without him). The illustrations are very cute and colorful and there is a lot happening in them, but it's definitely a difficult book to read aloud and we all found it tedious.

Next, I thought I'd see how my first grader would do. He's seven years old, just starting to read fairly fluently, and all the letter rules are fresh in his mind. I sent him into his room with the book and told him to read it to himself and then come tell me about it. He bounced out about 20 minutes later and giggled several times as he recounted the plot line. He definitely enjoyed the story and got the humor in it, but when I asked him if it was a book he'd want to read more than once, he sort of shrugged and said, "Mmmm, not really."

So that's where it get's difficult. This is not a book for preschoolers. It's too easy for advanced readers who are ready for chapter books, and it's not really a read-more-than-once story for first and second graders.

However! I think this would be a wonderful book for a school library or for a collection in a first grade classroom; someplace where there is a lot of turnover and more than one child would have access to it. I would definitely give it as a teacher's gift for her classroom because it's educational and funny, but I wouldn't necessarily buy it to keep at my house because the re-readability isn't high.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First of all, this book is wonderfully illustrated, although it is a bit cartoon-stylish. The story design is clever and the there are many downright hilarious situations.
But, and this is a big one, our 5-year old was completely over-matched by the word-play. She is no dummy at all, but most of those cleverly devised little nuances are on a much too high level.
They are obviously geared towards bigger school kids, or even grown-ups. I found some of the scenes and the associated word-play very funny, but could not adequately explain why to my daughter most of the time. She lost interest in this book rather quickly, because it was too tiresome for her to ask for explanations all the time and then not understanding what was going on in the book anyway. Unfortunately, there is no recommended age given, either in the book, or in the Amazon description. Based on my own experience, and what other reviewers already wrote, I would guess that 7 or 8 might be the correct age group for this book. It also helps if the child can read the book by itself, because it quite clearly is not a typical "read-to" book at all.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With obvious inspiration from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and based on an idea by teenaged animator Ezra Fields-Meyer, E-mergency! is a creative story about a houseful of animated letters.

While it can be a little difficult to read because of programmed linguistic expectations, in the same way as (although less so than) Shel Silverstein's Runny Babbit, E-mergency! is ultimately very rewarding. Roaders nood to road somo of tho book without tho uso of tho lottor "E" (See what I mean?!) Frequency of letter usage is explained, and the book even includes a chart on the final endpapers, useful when playing Wheel of Fortune. (Last-place "Z" is almost never worth guessing, in use only 0.074% of the time.)

Many small and funny laughs abound, with plenty of sight gags to discover on subsequent readings. "D" & "C" testify before Congress. "N" questions why "P" & "U" are always sitting together. "Q" croons to "U": "I'm quite useless without you!" There's plenty of humor for the adults in the room, too: "J" stands in front of a mirror and wonders, "Does this serif make my butt look big?" "O" resists being pushed into service as "E"'s replacement, so "A" admonishes him: "Don't be obnoxious, 'O.' You know the consonants just speak gibberish without us vowels!"

Finally, the letters appeal to the narrator for help, to stop using "E" until she can recover. Breaking the fourth wall in children's literature was made popular in the Groverian classic,
...Read more ›
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