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The Ultimate Alphabet
Mike Wilks
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The Ultimate Alphabet

4.46  ·  Rating Details ·  120 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Now in paperback: the book that tantalized readers when it was first published in 1987--and inspired an international contest. Each page of this intriguing and artful book shows a letter of the alphabet accompanied by an illustrious illustration containing hundreds of objects and images beginning with that letter. "Imaginative, ingenious, and inventive".--Time.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published October 15th 1986 by Holt Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1986)
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Elizabeth A
Dec 28, 2015 Elizabeth A rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, 2015, kids-ya
This is a fun book to have around when you've got a group of people gathered. It is puzzle book of sorts; a Where's Waldo for an older crowd.

What is it exactly? It is a fun alphabet book, but nothing like the ones we used as kids. In this one the author/artist illustrates each letter of the alphabet with paintings of hundreds of objects that all begin with that particular letter, and the objective is to see how close you can come to finding/naming all the objects painted. This would be a fun boo
Feb 16, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one I know has any idea that this book exists, and that's a shame. I was given a copy when I was about 7 & I spent hours telling myself stories about what was going on in the pictures. 20 years later I still remember those stories, still think this is one of the most amazing books EVER.
Jan 02, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long ago, a friend and I were obsessed with this game called Scrutineyes. It was pretty simple. Study a picture of things that all begin with a single letter of the alphabet. List as many as you can before the timer runs out. Trade pictures. Then cross out your common answers, and whoever has the most left wins. I mean, we played this thing all the time. Either one of us could have beaten an inexperienced player without even looking at the pictures (and I bet I still could, for the letter P).
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
This was a really fun book; a set of 26 paintings, each representing a letter of the alphabet. Each page also told you how many objects starting with that letter were present in the painting. An associated word-list gave you a much larger number of possible words and the goal was to figure out which words were represented and which ones were not. Entertaining and educational.
A very handy companion to his "Ultimate Alphabet," Wilks provides numbered diagrams for each letter's illustration as an aid in identification. These are books to spend hours with.
Jun 19, 2012 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
I've become obsessed with this book since picking it up at a thrift store (it's not in print anymore, which is a pity.) Each letter of the alphabet gets a one-page spread by the artist featuring as many words beginning with that letter as he is able to cram in, and the game begins when the reader examines the picture to find them. The oil paintings are lush and rich with detail, and of necessity rather bizarre (like a desert scene featuring dinosaurs, diagrams, dogs, and a delerious demigod for ...more
Dec 07, 2010 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So over the summer I finally tracked down Mike Wilks' books. I was hoping for some lost classics, and while his technical ability as a sort of pop-surrealist painter is basically superhuman, his tendency to fill his books with long-winded text explaining his own genius, inspiration and process pretty much kills the mood. It's sort of like reading a 32-page textbook.

Also weird is the fact that he painted his own face into EVERY painting for EVERY letter. The dude is basically a Dahmer lookalike,
Ruan Peat
Apr 20, 2015 Ruan Peat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-and-loved
I was given this book as a child and adored it, my dad and I spent hours pouring over each and every page! sometimes days on one letter, recently I was tasked with finding a book for an invalid, and chose this one to recommend as I still have and enjoy the original now with my own kids and I am still finding things I never noticed the first times through.
Fab book to either dip in and out or just devote time to, but you must have the lists with it to help you find things. A good dictionary and so
Jan 28, 2008 angrykitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i don't have a category for this book, but it's really amazing. what it is, is it's a book of paintings that each contain like hundreds of things that start with each letter of the alphbet. i'd say it's a kids book, but there is a surprising amount of nudity, so i don't know how kid friendly it is. plus, even though it's an alphbet book, it not like any other i've seen. i have the version with the workbook, so you know what to look for in each picture, but the problem is, i don't know what half ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-s-books
This is one I think my mom got me as an annual Christmas present (we always got at least one really cool book). This one is like an artistic, intellectual version of Where's Waldo. Seriously even if I were to do it now, I probably wouldn't find half of the words on any given page. There is a workbook/list of all the objects that are contained in each page/painting, but I think you'd have to have at least a dictionary around to figure out what a lot of them are. For creative, brainy, artistic, de ...more
Oct 07, 2009 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just pictures - but amazing pictures! My uncle gave us this book when I was little and I remember spending HOURS paging through it-- Each page is one letter of the alphabet and there's very detailed, bizarre, busy paintings with tons of objects in each one. Every object in the paintings begin with the letter of that page. The artist also painted himself into each picture. Great for kids AND adults!
Amy Lahr
Oct 08, 2015 Amy Lahr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book collection from Goodreads. I thought I would give it to a mom with a toddler...It's a bit too advanced for someone that young... and I kind of want to keep it for myself now. My 14 thinks it's pretty awesome!
Rebecca Jasman
Publication Date: 1997

Genre: ABC book

Awards won:

Themes: alphabet

Annotation: This alphabet has rich illustrations that have many items that begin with the letter on the page.

Ways to use the book with children: sound hunts through the book
Michelle Ford
Sep 13, 2011 Michelle Ford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh the hours I've spent lost in these pictures, feverishly trying to spot things I haven't noted down before! Beautifully done!
Just thinking about it is making me want to dive into it once more... uh oh... see you in a few hours...
Kate B
Jun 02, 2015 Kate B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this when I was about 14 and a friend and I would lean over it, competing to see who'd find the most objects beginning with each letter. It's not aimed at young children (for a younger age group try "Kipper's A to Z").
This is a fantastic alphabet book created by artist Mike Wilks. Each letter is illustrated by one of his paintings containing hundreds of objects beginning with the letter. It's a challenge, even for adults.
Sue Whitt
Jul 15, 2016 Sue Whitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book that I had checked out of the library. Then I bought a copy for myself. It is exactly what the title describes--26 pages of dozens--hundreds-- of photos of objects starting with the same letter.
Sep 22, 2015 Babs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
An absolutely fabulous book. I still have my original copy from my childhood, which still holds unending fascination!
rhonda singer
rhonda singer rated it it was amazing
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Nov 14, 2008
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James rated it it was amazing
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Sue B
Sue B rated it really liked it
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Kim rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2010
Melisa rated it really liked it
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Evelyn rated it it was amazing
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Mike Wilks (British, b. 1947) began his artistic career at age thirteen when he won a scholarship to art school. He ran a successful graphic design business for five years before he sold it and began writing and illustrating books in 1975. He rocketed to fame following publication of The Ultimate Alphabet in 1986; the puzzle book sold 750,000 copies worldwide. After eight illustrated books, he est ...more
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