The Magic of Letters
The Magic of Letters
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Annotation: Reveals the secrets of letters, including their power to create words of all kinds.
Catalog Number: #181191
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Minor, Wendell,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8234-4159-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-8234-4159-4
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018009007
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
An exuberant narrator explains what letters are ("Each letter has a name, wonderful and strange") and how they're used ("You can shuffle them around to make loads of mighty words"). Johnston furnishes scads of examples--"Roll them in your mouth like lollipops. / Clunk. Acrobat. Trout. Quesadilla. Flibbertigibbet"--that Minor brings to lyrical life in animal-studded fantastical scenes.
Kirkus Reviews
Journey through a land where words take flight and spark creativity.A fantastical bespectacled rabbit is readers' guide into a top hat and through Johnston and Minor's wonderland of words as they celebrate the power of language to instruct, inspire, and delight children. The journey, which begins and ends on the dust cover, is reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's classic topsy-turvy adventure, complete with a rabbit magician whose adeptness with wordplay prompts it to take a bow at the end. "Letters hold POWER," it says, before going on to celebrate "giggling words like flibbertigibbet. Yummy words like QUESADILLA [and] bewitching words like enchanted." Put together, "they say what you need to tell somebody. ‘The flibbertigibbet ate an enchanted quesadilla,' " for instance. The illustrations, which range from a scene done in a collage style incorporating cutout words to a blue, fairy-filled dreamscape, capture the sense of wonder that the story wishes to covey. The design makes clever use of the double-page spread to convey a child's joy at recognizing their name in print and the power of words to literally make imaginations soar. Given the sophistication of some of the words in the story, it is best read with slightly older kindergarteners. While the rabbit is firmly established in the narrative, the two children, one black and one white, who occasionally appear in the illustrations feel less connected to the text.A charming ode to the lyricism of language. (Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
Plenty of books celebrate the power and fun of words. Johnston and Minor, the team behind Cat, What Is That?, seek to remind readers that without letters, there wouldn-t be any words. Because letters can be arranged in seemingly endless combinations, everyone has a distinctive name-a point that one spread drives home in a dialogue balloon filled with line after line of names in a typographic celebration of individuality. Letters make possible words that tickle brains and tongues: -The flibbertigibbet ate an enchanted quesadilla and became an acrobat, who slipped on a trout.- Most importantly, letters unlock all the possibilities of reading and writing. The book doesn-t entirely fulfill its promise that -letters hold magic. When you know their secrets, they open worlds-; beyond telling readers that -each letter has a name, wonderful and strange- the creators jump quickly to full-blown words without focusing on the letters- distinctive looks and sounds. But the text is heartfelt, and Minor-s sketchbook-style illustrations have an immediacy and energy that will make readers feel that they-re peering over his shoulder as the drawings take shape. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1 A jaunty rabbit in a top hat guides readers through the world of letters in this enthusiastic new picture book. Letters have great power, readers learn, with the ability to form mighty words. Words can be slippery like trout, or limber like an acrobat. Some letters even form brand-new words, like swinkle ! Words can then be strung together to form stories, like, "Carrots love dirt." Accompanied by Minor's mix of loose, light, and lively graphite drawings and colorful collage, Johnston's text adeptly conveys enchantment. While entertaining, the narrative occasionally becomes so whimsical that it begins to lack meaning ("Noodles are quiet but they think deep thoughts") and distract readers from the overall message of the importance of letters and words. VERDICT A fanciful and enthusiastic romp through Letterville that could spark a love of reading and writing in some children. Best for one-on-one sharing. Laura Lintz, Henrietta Public Library, Rochester, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Horn Book (8/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews (4/1/19)
Publishers Weekly (4/1/19)
School Library Journal (4/1/19)
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2

Letters are MAGIC. When you know their secrets, like a bright bird, you take flight. Hop along with a playful rabbit emcee and see for yourself!

Letters are everywhere in this delightful book that embraces the power of words and what they can do, how they can make you feel, and what they can help you say.

Each letter has a name, and letters have power . . . power to make words. Words can make you hungry, make you laugh, or enchant you. And you can enchant others with magic of your own, by using them to write anything you please.

Unlock the magic of letters in this colorful, imaginative book from the award-winning author/illustrator teams of Tony Johnston and Wendell Minor.

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