Esti's Reviews > The Dangerous Alphabet

The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Nov 20, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, children-ya-media-class
Read in February, 2012

Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly team up to create an alphabet book for older children--and anyone else who enjoys the deliciously creepy. Told in a series of rhyming couplets based around the letters of the alphabet, the book follows a pair of siblings and their pet gazelle through one of Gaiman's spectacular underground worlds, beautifully illustrated by Grimly. The children follow the alphabet through a dangerous world full of pirates and monsters and ovens full of people, finally emerging back into the real world, where their father, Z, "waits alone."

This is not a book for teaching the alphabet, which Gaiman notes "is not to be relied upon" in this publication, but it takes the medium of alphabet books to a splendid new level, using creative, playful language that will appeal to confident readers. Reading the words in this book is a matter of moments, but Grimly's subtle, almost monochromatic illustrations catch the eye and make each page last for long minutes. Though enjoyably creepy, they're more fascinating than terrifying, and worth a look at any age. Recommended for readers 9 and up, especially fans of Gaiman's Coraline.

Tags: alphabet, poetry, couplets, adventure, scary story, underground world, adventure, young readers, all ages

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