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How to Build an A Hardcover – November 7, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Offering a hands-on approach to learning the alphabet, this small-format book comes with 11 off-white foam shapes (as well as a mesh storage bag). In the book, miniature, stylized people (and the occasional dog) work together to construct each letter of the alphabet, using rectangular blocks and arcs shaped just like the foam pieces. Playful, irreverent illustrations accompany each letter being constructed: for N is for Nose, two of the tiny people play in and around an elongated, drippy proboscis; with Z, the zebra participates in having his stripes painted on his back. But those interested in building three-dimensional letters, as the title promises, may be disappointed: the pieces dont fit together seamlessly. For example, if kids try to make the letter B following the illustration in the book, the vertical piece isnt long enough to accommodate both of the loops; these have to be overlapped, in which case the loop placed on top tilts sadly toward one end. (Using a set of pieces different from what is shown will solve this problem but not similar ones.) A good idea just shy of realization. Ages 2–up. (Nov.)
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About the Author
Sara Midda is an artist who lives in West Sussex, England, and previously lived in the south of France. Her most recent book is Artisan’s children’s activity book How to Build an A.
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- The big picture on each page is an object beginning with the letter. The diagram of how to build the letter is quite small in the corner. This is opposite of what the front cover would lead you to believe.
- The size/length of the bars are not condusive to building accurate letters for some
However, aside from the fact that it seems like a total rip off of handwriting without tears, the actual building of the letter is a small picture in bottom right corner of the left page (approx 2" in size) with a sentence like "A is for apple" and "B is for boy" dominating the left page and then these very pretty illustrations filling the right page, so the actual illustration of the apple, while quite nicely illustrated, is the emphasis of the book NOT BUILDING THE LETTERS (approximately 2" in size). That would be fine, but looking at the title page, I had a different belief as to the emphasis of the book. Furthermore, the smaller curves are so large if your child tries to create a capital B the humps are too big so the letter looks broken which totally annoyed my son who is used to using the wood pieces that are scaled better.