Letter Perfect, Too!: Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood
If you know some kids who earned their letter sweaters on Alphabet Adventure (reviewed in my post of August 9), get them ready for another trip with Charley's adventuring lower-case alphabet.
In Alphabet Mystery little x fails to show up for morning roll call. The remaining 25 letters hop a handy pencil and soar out the window to find him. A clue! A clue! There's one of Charley's pencils parked inside a spooky castle wall!
Ushered inside by a lopsided big I (Igor?), the little letters find missing x dancing out a lullaby on a xylophone to help the Master (a big Green M) sleep. The Master (who describes himself as "Mean Miserable Monster") threatens to make them all into alphabet soup, but little x refuses to flee with his friends. "I ran way because Charley never used me," he confesses. "At least here I have a job."
But little i, (always the insider) whispers to little x that Charley is secretly planning to use him more than any other letter on his mother's birthday tomorrow. Master M is moved when he hears the story and bursts into merciful tears. "I have a mother, too," he confesses, Repentant, he allows each little letter to choose a gift for Charley's mother from his treasure room, and, of course, the little letters choose the gifts which match their initial sounds.
Back home Charley and Dad make the birthday cake, and Master M meaningfully becomes the big M in "Happy Birthday, Mom." Little x is happy four times over as he becomes the four kisses (xxxx) on the cake!
As in Alphabet Adventure the clever visual jokes with the little letters will keep kids spying out the fun in the wonderful three-dimensional illustrations, while the clever body language and phonic tie-ins of the letters will keep adults puzzling as well. Like its predecessor, this is another book that encourages thinking skills and which gets better every time you read it! It's xtra Marvelous!
Labels: Alphabet Books (Ages 2-8)