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The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book (ALA Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards)) Hardcover – July 1, 2004
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–Children who are tired of staid concept books will welcome this one–it literally turns the alphabet on its ear. Each page contains a large block letter enclosed in a square that, when viewed from a different direction–left, right, or upside-down (hence the title)–transforms into an entirely different object. For example, when "J" is rotated clockwise, it becomes, in turn, "an elephant's trunk," "a candy cane," and "a monkey's tail." Some designs, like "O," are easy to spot (bagel, owl's eye, fried egg); others, like "K" (picnic table, a mama duck with two ducklings, Martian's antennae) and "W" (two fish, a cat casting a shadow, a mountain stream), present more of a challenge. With touches of humor and a great deal of creativity, Ernst fashioned this book out of cut paper and surrounded each block with a thick black border that sets off white words. Children will enjoy tilting the pages to see the transformations and will be motivated to come up with ideas of their own.–Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 2. Like Laura Vaccaro Seeger's The Hidden Alphabet [BKL F 1 04], this ABC title combines clean, bold graphics with an optical game. Each brightly hued block letter appears on its own page within a box of artfully contrasting color, while a black background pops the complementary colors even more. The visual exercise comes with the lines of text that ring each page, forcing the reader to turn the book in a full counter-clockwise circle to follow the words. When viewed from the side or upside down, each letter forms abstract shapes in which the accompanying text tries to find something recognizable: a sideways Y becomes "a mermaid's tail," for example. The majority of what Ernst sees in the upended letters will be a far stretch for most kids (and even some adults). But preschoolers may use the book to learn their letters and find their own objects within the designs, while older children, including high-school art students, will enjoy the whimsy and optical challenge of finding new forms in the familiar shapes. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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Depending on the age and vocabulary of the child you may need to show pictures or drawings of some of the prompts.
With a younger child, for example, you can just ignore the word-play and book turning [you turn the book to get the joke], and just point out the letters and the sounds they make. While with an older child you can sit back and share the joy of finding out what the author has *done* with the letters; what the jokes are.
In addition, you can play like we have to see what you can make out of the letters. (A good way to make writing fun.)
The only 'con' to this fun book is that it does get rather tiring to keep turning the book around to read the text. But in our opinion that's a pretty small drawback.
Four Stars. ABC fun for all ages.