From Publishers Weekly
"A was once an apple pie, / Pidy / Widy / Tidy / Pidy / Nice insidy / Apple pie." So begins Lear's alphabet, a beguiling collection of verses that stretch poetry, language and meaning but wisely opt for silliness instead of outright nonsense. The result is a rhythmic, lilting progression full of simple, childlike images and the sort of fanciful wordplay that children revel in. Lacome's ( Funny Business ; Hocus Pocus ) bright, bold illustrations are a happy match, containing hints of whimsy that complement without overpowering the playfulness of the rhymes. They have a clean, crisp, yet varied design and a quietly folksy feel. Ages 2-up.
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2–Lear's verse explored the outer limits of the English language in 1871. Now MacDonald uses her acute sense of design and whimsy to introduce another generation to Lear's work. Children will delight in the zany lyrics that, for full effect, should be read aloud and repeated by a young audience. The illustrations are folksy paper collages–think Eric Carle–with large, bright shapes. A perfect match for Lear's sheer daring, MacDonald's art sometimes spills across the margin of one page onto the next while making connections between one verse and the one on the opposing page. Opening the series of rhymes are A on one page, and B on the other; however, the illustration communicates something of both letters as a large Bear bends over to take a sniff of A's Apple Pie. The pictures communicate with one another and bring a new electricity and excitement to the gigglely, wigglely, gaity in which A was once an apple pie,/pidy, widy, tidy, pidy/nice insidy, apple pie! A must-have for highly spirited read-alouds.–Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
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