Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Alphabet Keeper (Flyaway Alphabet) Hardcover – March 11, 2003


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$27.43 $0.41

Best Children's Books of 2014
The Best Books of the Year for Kids
See all of our editors' picks for the Best Children's Books of 2014 for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Flyaway Alphabet
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (March 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375823476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375823473
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,817,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Alphabet Keeper is a grouchy old lady who keeps all her letters locked up in a cage in a dark room. A burst of compassion compels her to clean their cage one day, and given the opportunity, the letters escape hastily. The Alphabet Keeper chases after them and quickly discovers how resourceful those letters can be, given space to move about freely. They take refuge in a park and when the keeper sneaks up on them, the "p turns upside down and the park becomes bark," leaving a little dog to chase the keeper away. When the Alphabet Keeper comes up with a plan, the t turns it into a plant. "'Stupid plant!' she yells, and kicks it. Then p and l break away, and the plant turns into an ant," who wanders off quietly. Mary Murphy's clever story and illustrations feature the temperamental lady, dressed all in gray and sporting thick, black, angry eyebrows, constantly screaming, shouting, kicking, and throwing things. Fittingly, given her poor attitude, she's relentlessly foiled by the agile, flying letters, who've clearly paid attention to their spelling lessons and might be quite good at Scrabble Junior. In fact, this funny little book is likely to give young spellers a boost of interest and creativity in the classroom, and that can only be a good thing. (Ages 4-8) --Jennifer Lindsay

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-The Alphabet Keeper imprisons all her letters in a cage, but when she opens the door to clean, a gust of wind sweeps them out the window to freedom. The woman chases after them, but when she tries to capture them, they rearrange themselves, change the venue, and become something else. For example, when the Alphabet Keeper sneaks up on the letters in the park, "p turns upside down and the park turns into bark!" Her plan to track them down in a boat is foiled when she steps onto the deck only to find that "u swaps with e- and the deck turns into a duck." The Alphabet Lady is depicted with mean, shifty eyes; black hair drawn up in a bun; and a gray-green hat and coat. Her room is a dark, purple oval. In contrast, the liberated letters, all lowercase, are adorned with smiles and float playfully across the pages. Children will need a fairly firm handle on phonics to fully appreciate this manipulation of letters to create new words. Nevertheless, this story may be a good springboard for some wordplay and youngsters will enjoy building even more words as they go along.
Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College,
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on April 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"The Alphabet Keeper keeps all her letters caged in the dark. One day she cleans the cage. The letters fly around the room, each letter making its own special sound. There is a sudden gust of wind and the window swings open. The letters feel the delicious breeze. They shiver with excitement..." So begins Mary Murphy's imaginative and inventive picture book. Free at last, the letters head for the park with the Alphabet Keeper close behind, net in hand. But just as she's about to pounce and catch them, the p turns upside down into a b and park turns into bark. Before the Alphabet Keeper can recover from her shock, the b turns backward into a d and bark becomes dark. "I can't see them!" says the Alphabet Keeper, and the letters fly away again." The chase is on as letters change, are added or subtracted, and sometimes rearranged to make new words. A cat becomes a hat, a bus turns into a bush, a plan turns into a plant, then loses the pl and becomes an ant crawling slowly away. A rats flips around and turns into a star, a crow becomes a cow, a c turns loud into cloud, and a rock, becomes a rocket taking the letters on a ride to the moon. The poor, frustrated Alphabet Keeper realizes she may not ever get them back..... Ms Murphy's creative text is engaging and filled with clever wordplay that should challenge and intrigue young spellers, and teachers and emerging readers will revel in building on the lessons, continuing the game and making new words. Her playful illustrations complement the text beautifully and add just the right touch of silly, irreverent fun. Perfect for youngsters 4-8, The Alphabet Keeper is a unique, fun-filled, manic romp that shouldn't be missed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on November 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"The Alphabet Keeper," by Mary Murphy, uses words and pictures to tell a story about the title character. The Keeper is a stern-looking woman who keeps letters trapped in a cage. Each letter is sort of a little creature with a mind of its own. After the letters escape, they lead the Keeper on a wild chase as she attempts to catch them.
This entertaining chase is full of clever word tricks--for example, when the Keeper uses a bus to pursue the letters, the letter "h" flies down and turns the "bus" into a "bush." Many more such gags follow. This wacky story is well complemented by the cartoony illustrations. Overall, a fun way to help teach kids about letters and how they form words.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By aa-Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Yes, letters can get the upper hand once they find their way to freedom. Or so the Alphabet Keeper finds out. After escaping their cage, the grumpy keeper tries to recapture them, but the letters evade her every effort by playing letter switching games. [Her `plan' turns into a `plant'. And `rats' turn into a `star'.] Still she keeps chasing them, until they eventually disappear to the moon.

Disappear to the moon? Okay, so that's a little odd, but my children (boy and girl; nearly 4 and almost 6) don't seem to care. They cuddle up close whenever we read this book.

Four Stars. Cute premise. Though not my favorite book, the children like it, and it does offer a great opportunity to practice word skills. The use of `present tense' a little awkward, but easily overcome. (see example below)

"There is a sudden gust of wind and the window swings open. The letters feel the delicious breeze. They shiver with excitement."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
The terminology was not appropriate for young children. In one spot the word "stupid" was used. Otherwise an okay book but very difficult to understand and follow. It was too complicated for young children and poor verbiage.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?