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E-mergency! Hardcover – October 19, 2011
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There are laughs, many laughs, on every page." - Chicago Tribune
"Every page is chock-full of inventive letter-play" - The New York Times
"Five- to eight-year olds will be charmed by this alphabet book's good humor and the rib-tickling illustrations that accompany the text. Me too." - Nancy Pearl, Book Lust, Seattle, WA
"It's like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on steroids."- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Nontraditional, rascally, downright hilarious alphabet book" - Booklist, starred review
"The pages are jam-packed with so many linguistic puns, acronyms, and jokes that readers may not realize how much they're learning about language along the way. Throo choors!" - Publishers Weekly Best Children's Picture Books of 2011
"This artwork takes a funny story and makes it hilarious.... Kids and adults will get more of the sly humor each time they read this book." - School Library Journal, Starred Review
"This book is a hilarious way to appreciate the vowel E - and practice deciphering secret codes. I've never read such a wacky book that is so fun to read aloud with the kids!" - Babble.com/Top 20 Children's Books of 2011
"Visual and print punnery will have elementary kids (and adults) guessing and laughing". - Kirkus Reviews
"What happens when the letter "E'' has an accident and slides out of the language? Sheer madness, enhanced by Lichtenheld and Fields-Meyers's unceasingly witty, manic visual, and verbal jokes." - Boston Globe Best Books The Year
"Witty entertainment from A to Z." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Zany" - Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
EZRA FIELDS-MEYER is a high school student and an expert on animated movies and animals. He is the creator of the animated short Alphabet House, which inspired this book, and is the subject of the memoir Following Ezra (by his father, Tom Fields-Meyer). He and his family live in Los Angeles, California.
Top Customer Reviews
I couldn't find a recommended age group anywhere so I started out at the bottom, reading it aloud to my two younger sons (2 and 4). It was a total flop. They liked the pictures but didn't follow any of the intricacies of the story because it's so heavily based upon reading puns and mispelled words (since the letter 'E' was injured falling down the stairs and they had to make words without him). The illustrations are very cute and colorful and there is a lot happening in them, but it's definitely a difficult book to read aloud and we all found it tedious.
Next, I thought I'd see how my first grader would do. He's seven years old, just starting to read fairly fluently, and all the letter rules are fresh in his mind. I sent him into his room with the book and told him to read it to himself and then come tell me about it. He bounced out about 20 minutes later and giggled several times as he recounted the plot line. He definitely enjoyed the story and got the humor in it, but when I asked him if it was a book he'd want to read more than once, he sort of shrugged and said, "Mmmm, not really."
So that's where it get's difficult. This is not a book for preschoolers. It's too easy for advanced readers who are ready for chapter books, and it's not really a read-more-than-once story for first and second graders.
However! I think this would be a wonderful book for a school library or for a collection in a first grade classroom; someplace where there is a lot of turnover and more than one child would have access to it. I would definitely give it as a teacher's gift for her classroom because it's educational and funny, but I wouldn't necessarily buy it to keep at my house because the re-readability isn't high.
But, and this is a big one, our 5-year old was completely over-matched by the word-play. She is no dummy at all, but most of those cleverly devised little nuances are on a much too high level.
They are obviously geared towards bigger school kids, or even grown-ups. I found some of the scenes and the associated word-play very funny, but could not adequately explain why to my daughter most of the time. She lost interest in this book rather quickly, because it was too tiresome for her to ask for explanations all the time and then not understanding what was going on in the book anyway. Unfortunately, there is no recommended age given, either in the book, or in the Amazon description. Based on my own experience, and what other reviewers already wrote, I would guess that 7 or 8 might be the correct age group for this book. It also helps if the child can read the book by itself, because it quite clearly is not a typical "read-to" book at all.
While it can be a little difficult to read because of programmed linguistic expectations, in the same way as (although less so than) Shel Silverstein's Runny Babbit, E-mergency! is ultimately very rewarding. Roaders nood to road somo of tho book without tho uso of tho lottor "E" (See what I mean?!) Frequency of letter usage is explained, and the book even includes a chart on the final endpapers, useful when playing Wheel of Fortune. (Last-place "Z" is almost never worth guessing, in use only 0.074% of the time.)
Many small and funny laughs abound, with plenty of sight gags to discover on subsequent readings. "D" & "C" testify before Congress. "N" questions why "P" & "U" are always sitting together. "Q" croons to "U": "I'm quite useless without you!" There's plenty of humor for the adults in the room, too: "J" stands in front of a mirror and wonders, "Does this serif make my butt look big?" "O" resists being pushed into service as "E"'s replacement, so "A" admonishes him: "Don't be obnoxious, 'O.' You know the consonants just speak gibberish without us vowels!"
Finally, the letters appeal to the narrator for help, to stop using "E" until she can recover. Breaking the fourth wall in children's literature was made popular in the Groverian classic, ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We are big fans of Tom Lichtenheld's work, so when we saw this at the library....had to check it out. I think the concept is very clever and my husband and I were cracking up. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kim
I was lucky enough to have the author Erza Fields-Meyer come to our school and read HIS book to my Montessori class. Read morePublished 2 months ago by hbudig
My almost 3 yr old loves letters and numbers, and wants to read this every night. Does he get every little joke? No. Is there still plenty to keep him amused? Read morePublished 7 months ago by NC Bax
Oh man, this was one horrible little book. I hate to say, but man, it was just stupid. The illustrations were fine, and that alone is why it is even getting a rating from me. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jessica @ That Girl Reads
My 6 year old son and I fell in love with this book.. It is really different from many other books we read... I recommend it.Published 11 months ago by Reem, Brooklyn, NY
Okay book but was a little advanced for our child to read (5 YO) since the "E" is removed from all the words in part of the story. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lee Donaldson