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The Alphabet from A to Y With Bonus Letter Z! Hardcover – October 23, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

STEVE MARTIN is a celebrated writer, actor, and performer. His film credits include The Jerk, Father of the Bride, and The Spanish Prisoner, as well as Roxanne, L.A. Story, and Bowfinger, for which he also wrote the screenplays. He is the author of the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile and of the bestselling collection of comic pieces Pure Drivel, as well as the bestselling novellas The Pleasure of My Company and Shopgirl, which was made into a popular movie. His work appears frequently in The New Yorker and the New York Times. He lives in Los Angeles.

ROZ CHAST's cartoons have been appearing in The New Yorker since 1978. Her work also has appeared in many publications, including Scientific American, Travel & Leisure, the Harvard Business Review as well as many others. She has also published several cartoon collections, illustrated children's books, and designed CD covers, book jackets, and theater posters. Her most recent book is Theories of Everything (Bloomsbury, 2006). She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and currently resides in Connecticut.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Flying Dolphin Press; First Edition edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385516622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385516624
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Martin, one of the most diversified performers in the motion picture industry today--actor, comedian, author, playwright, producer, musician - has been successful as a writer of and performer in some of the most popular movies of recent film history.

In March of 2010, Martin, along with Alec Baldwin, co-hosted the 82nd Annual Academy Awards - his third time serving as host of the prestigious award show.

On January 31st, 2010, Steve Martin's banjo album, The Crow / New Songs For The Five-String Banjo, won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.

Christmas 2009 saw Martin share the screen with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in Universal's "It's Complicated." The comedy, directed by Nancy Meyers, tells the story of a divorced couple (Streep and Baldwin) who discover that their feelings for one another might not have completely disappeared. Martin plays Adam, the soft-spoken and sweet architect who also vies for Street's characters' affection.

In 2008, Martin had two books published: In October, Doubleday released a children's book titled The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z!, co-written with fellow The New Yorker illustrator Roz Chast. In December, Martin's autobiography, Born Standing Up, was published by Scribner.

Additionally, in December of 2007, Martin was the recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.

In February 2006, Martin was seen in "The Pink Panther" playing the role of Inspector Clouseau, originally made famous by Peter Sellers. The film, which reunites Martin with director Shawn Levy, costarred Beyonce Knowles and Kevin Kline. In 2009, Mr. Martin will revived his role of Inspector Clouseau in "The Pink Panther 2."

In 2005, Martin received critical praise for the Touchstone Pictures film "Shopgirl," costarring Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman. The screenplay was written by Martin and adapted from his best-selling novella of the same name. "Shopgirl" follows the complexities of a romance between a young girl, who works at a Los Angeles Saks Fifth Avenue glove counter while nurturing dreams of being an artist, and a wealthy older man, who is still learning about the consequences that come with any romantic relationship.

Christmas 2003, Martin starred in the highest grossing film of his career, "Cheaper by the Dozen," directed by Shawn Levy for 20th Century Fox. The family comedy, co-starring Bonnie Hunt and Hillary Duff, has grossed over $135 million domestically. Christmas 2005 saw the much anticipated sequel "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" staring the original cast and adding in a rival family, headed by Eugene Levy. In February of 2003, Martin starred with Queen Latifah in the blockbuster comedy, "Bringing Down the House" for Touchstone Pictures which gross $132.7 million.

Mr. Martin hosted the 75th Annual Academy Awards in 2003, his second time handling those duties, the first being the 73rd Oscars. The 75th Annual Academy Awards was nominated for seven Emmy Awards, including a nomination for "Outstanding Individual Performance In a Variety or Music Program".

Born in Waco, Texas and raised in Southern California, Mr. Martin became a television writer in the late 1960's, winning an Emmy Award for his work on the hit series "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." By the end of the decade he was performing his own material in clubs and on television.

Launched by frequent appearances on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," Mr. Martin went on to host several shows in the innovative "Saturday Night Live" series and to star in and co-write four highly rated television specials. When performing on national concert tours, he drew standing-room-only audiences in some of the largest venues in the country. He won Grammy Awards for his two comedy albums, "Let's Get Small" and "A Wild and Crazy Guy," and had a gold record with his single "King Tut." In 2003, Martin also won a Grammy® Award for Best country instrumentalist for his playing on Earl Scruggs 75th Anniversary album.

Mr. Martin's first film project, "The Absent-Minded Waiter," a short he wrote and starred in, was nominated for a 1977 Academy Award. In 1979, he moved into feature films, co-writing and starring in "The Jerk," directed by Carl Reiner. In 1981, he starred opposite Bernadette Peters in Herbert Ross' bittersweet musical comedy, "Pennies From Heaven."

The actor then co-wrote and starred in the 1982 send-up of detective thrillers, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" and the science fiction comedy "The Man With Two Brains," both directed by Carl Reiner. In 1984, Mr. Martin received a Best Actor Award from both the New York Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review for his performance opposite Lily Tomlin in "All of Me," his forth collaboration with writer/director Carl Reiner.

In 1987, his motion picture hit, "Roxanne," a modern adaptation of the Cyrano de Bergerac legend, garnered Martin not only warm audience response, but also a Best Actor Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Best Screenplay Award from the Writer Guild of America. Mr. Martin was also the executive producer on the film.

In 1988, he costarred with Michael Caine in the hit comedy film "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," his second feature collaboration with director Frank Oz (the first being "Little Shop of Horrors"). In 1989, he starred with Mary Steenburgen and Diane Wiest in Ron Howard's affectionate family comedy, "Parenthood" for Universal Pictures.

In 1991, Mr. Martin wrote, starred in and co-executive produced the critically acclaimed comedy, "L.A. Story," a motion picture about a love story set in Los Angeles. That same year he made a cameo appearance in Lawrence Kasdan's critically lauded "Grand Canyon" and starred with Diane Keaton in the hit Disney film "Father Of The Bride," receiving the People's Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy Motion Picture for the latter. In 1992, he starred in the Universal comedy feature "Housesitter," opposite Goldie Hawn, winning the People's Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy, for the second year in a row.

In 1996, he starred again with Diane Keaton in the hit sequel to "Father of the Bride," and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. In 1997, he received universal critical acclaim for his riveting performance in director David Mamet's thriller, "The Spanish Prisoner."

Mr. Martin wrote and starred in the hilarious 1999 feature comedy, "Bowfinger," opposite Eddie Murphy for Director Frank Oz. The film was showcased at the Deauville International Film Festival.

Mr. Martin's other films include classic comedies like Frank Oz's "Little Shop of Horrors," in which he played a demented dentist; John Hughes' "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," co-starring John Candy and the comic Western send-up "The Three Amigos" co-staring Marin Short and Chevy .

In the fall of 1993, Mr. Martin's first original play, the comedy-drama "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," was presented by Chicago's prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre. Following rave reviews and an extended run in Chicago, the play was presented successfully in Boston and Los Angeles, and then Off-Broadway in New York at the Promenade Theatre, to nationwide critical and audience acclaim. It has since been, and continues to be, mounted in productions worldwide. "WASP" a one act play that Martin wrote, was first performed at the Public Theatre in NY in 1995. "The Underpants," a dark comedy Mr. Martin adapted from the 1911 play by Carl Sterneim, premiered Off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company on April 4, 2002.

In 1996, Mr. Martin was honored with a retrospective of his work, by the American Film Institute's Third Decade Council at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. He was also presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony. In 2004 Martin was honored for his film work by the American Cinematheque.

A selection of paintings from his extensive, private, modern art collection was given a special exhibition at the Bellagio Hotel gallery in Las Vegas in 2000, with catalog notes written for the show my Mr. Martin.

After the success of his first novella Shopgirl Mr. Martin's second novella, "The Pleasure of My Company," published by Hyperion, once again was ranked on best seller lists around the country including the New York Times. He has written a best selling collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, and his work frequently appears in The New Yorker and the New York Times.

He lives in New York City and Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By J. Hanks on October 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that will keep Mom and Dad interested during those MULTIPLE readings. Steve Martin and Roz Chast have created an extraordinarily clever treatment of the alphabet. Martin's typically off-the-wall humor is evident throughout. His couplets are saturated with alternative useage of each letter and sound of the alphabet. The vocabulary is engaging and stimulating. Chast takes it to a deeper level through often hilarious illustrations and additional vocabulary. You cannot get it all the first time.

This book will prompt questions and comments from your child that will result in true conversation. The references to unusual places, animals and literature will encourage your child to explore new things and exercise his or her imagination and curiosity. What other similar book introduces the beatnik or frijoles? "A" is no longer just for "apple." It is for "appendicitis," "acne," and "ampersand."

My only reservation is for some of the content. This book includes references to alcohol, and one character shouts the invective, "That's a lousy lie, you lowlife!" Some readers may choose to exercise caution before introducing these concepts during bedtime story time.

All-in-all I highly recommend this book for its intellectual stimulation and creativity. This is probably the most unique book of its kind I have ever seen.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andree 215 on November 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I can't imagine a more ridiculous funny alphabet book. It's vocabulary is beyond most kids, but what the kids will love is the sound of the language used, the alliteration, the rhyming couplets. it's awesome.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Cup VINE VOICE on May 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Steve Martin and I love the books he writes for adults. I bought this book without having read it first, and now I wish I had not. This book is definitely not for a child just learning their ABC's--the reason that I bought it (for my 2-1/2 year old). The words are too complex, and the illustrations are not what I would consider kid-friendly. By the time you find an age group that would "get" the humor in the book, and have an attention span long enough to really look at all the illustrations, these kids are well beyond wanting to read books about the alphabet, because they have already mastered it. (The illustration's captions really are complex, and use a lot words relating to the letter they correspond with, but young children will not "get" most of the humor that is intended.) I grew tired of reading all the little side-bar comments that went with the pictures after the letter "M". It just took too long to explain all the meanings of the words(to my 6 year old), and he began to lose interest. The bright spot to the book, is that the author does use unusual words for each letter, so if you are looking for something other than the standard fare like "A is for apple, and ant and airplane...", you will find it refreshing. I am not sure what age group Mr. Martin was targeting, but I think that it misses the mark at just about all age levels. I would recommend getting the book from your library first to see what kind of interest your child has in it, before investing in your own copy. I wish that I had.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Daddy on October 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I heard about this book on NPR. They interviewed Steve Martin and the illustrator about the book. Steve read some excerpts from the book; they were quite witty; funny for adults too. It reminded me of the Dr. Seuss ABC book, but perhaps even more witty. I will definitely get it for my new sweetheart baby daughter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Smith on January 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my 25 year old boyfriend since he's a huge fan of Steve Martin's. And of course, I flipped through it when I got it and was surprised at just how amusing it was. (I should have been tipped off by the title, I suppose.) I don't know how this would fare with a kid, they might miss a lot of the details that make it amusing to an adult (sometimes for the better), but it was worth it.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By AJM on October 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The gods smiled when they hooked up Steve Martin & Roz Chast for this book -- both brilliant in their respective fields! After this book, all of us will approach the alphabet with new respect, and barely muffled laughter!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lambley on January 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Alphabet from A to Y With Bonus Letter Z!
What an incredibly funny and appropiate book for "kids" of all ages! My seven year-old daugher adores the book and has a few more vocabulary words under her belt as well! I love the book. I am a 5th grade teacher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicole D. Patterson on April 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book for my son (he's 7 months old but I started building out a library). I can't evaluate how funny he will think the book is - but having read it - I think its probably funnier for an adult who is familiar with Steve Martin as a comic. My husband and I enjoyed it!
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