Kipper and his little friend Arnold are on an alphabet search. It all starts when the young pig Arnold finds an ant. "Aa is for ant. And Arnold." Well, to be perfectly honest, it starts a little earlier, before the book even officially begins, when Kipper the pudgy brown dog tells a zebra, "We won't need you till much, much later." Throughout, as Kipper and Arnold find (and sometimes lose) a buzzing bumblebee, a caterpillar (actually, the caterpillar finds them), a duck, and a menagerie of other alphabetized critters, the earnestly eager zebra appears, ever hopeful that his day in the sun has arrived. "Nn is for No, not now!" Kipper tells him. After "Juice...And a bit of jam, too," "Splish! Splosh! Splash! And six squishy slugs," and V, which is "very, very hard" (when they can't find a volcano, they make a picture of one instead), the zebra asks one last time. "Is it my turn? Is it? Is it?" Kipper is happy to report, "Yy is for Yes!" The zebra stands proudly in the middle of the page, and everyone says, "Zz is for Zebra!"
Mick Inkpen's enchanting Kipper stories can be found on TV's Nick Jr. and in his many picture books (Kipper, Kipper's Birthday, Kipper's Snowy Day, and lots more). This Alphabet Adventure, with its adorable details and witty subplots, is sure to win hordes of new fans. (Ages 2 to 5) --Emilie Coulter
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From Publishers Weekly
Creepy crawly critters and recurring jokes feature in this sprightly ABC tale. In a teaser, ahead of the title page, the eponymous pooch tells a zebra, "We won't need you till much, much later." Inkpen thus signals his plans to eschew a formulaic abecedarian approach and introduces the letters in inventive ways, giving his volume a rollicking spontaneity and a story line. In some cases, the author subtly slips the spotlighted letter into the narrative, which follows Kipper and his pig pal, Arnold, as they encounter bugs, animals and other objects, most of which Arnold places in a box (e.g., "He opened his box and put the interesting insect inside"). Other whimsical touches include the reemergence of creatures introduced on previous pages; inventive use of type (as on the spread introducing h, when the text forms an arc shaped around a hill); the intermittent appearance of the earnest zebra, who wants to know if it's his turn yet (to which Kipper replies, "No, not now!... You don't begin with N"); and one quite waggish omission: "Kipper couldn't think of anything beginning with K. Can you think of anything?" Yet likely the strongest selling point here is Inkpen's signature charming, childlike art, which offers endearing images of these expressive young animal characters at every turn. Adorable, breezy, clever, this is the alphabet book of choice. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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