Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ABCs: The Disappearing Alphabet

Here is an alphabet book for older children who appreciate word play. Twenty-six poems explore what might happen if letters of the alphabet began to disappear.

In the word DUMB, the letter B is mute,

But elsewhere its importance is acute.

If it were absent, say, from BAT and BALL,

There'd be no big or little leagues AT ALL.

Good fun for older elementary kids. The illustrations are colorful and modern, and were created using Adobe Photoshop.

The Disappearing Alphabet, by Richard Wilbur, illustrated by David Diaz.

This alphabet book reminds me of the novel Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters, by Mark Dunn, a story told through correspondence between members of a society where use of certain letters of the alphabet is forbidden. As more and more letters are banned, the correspondence gets more and more creative. There is an element of humor as the reader watches the language evolve before his/her very eyes, but it's also sobering to think of a society where something so bizarre could happen. It's reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" in that regard. Definitely not a novel for younger than high school aged.

And, as this month draws to an end, I leave you with this image from Rosemary Wells' Mother Goose.


Tricia said...

I read Ella Minnow Pea about 3 years ago - it was strange and intriguing!

Anonymous said...

what a cute book! similar concept, have you read 'ella minnow pea' by mark dunn? fabulous.