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The Disappearing Alphabet [Paperback]

By Richard Wilbur (Author) & David Diaz (Illustrator)
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Item Number 160597  
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Item description for The Disappearing Alphabet by Richard Wilbur & David Diaz...

Packed with humor and witty subtitles, a captivating picture book illustrates an imaginative story of what life would be like without the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Reprint.

Publishers Description
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Wilbur turns his sharp eye to the noble alphabet and imagines what life would be like without these twenty-six little--but powerful--letters. Packed with humor and subtle wit, the verse in this captivating picture book is splendidly matched by Caldecott Medal winner David Diaz's hilariously clever illustrations.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Disappearing Alphabet by Richard Wilbur & David Diaz has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 689
  • PW Notes and Reprints - 10/15/2001 page 74
  • Publishers Weekly - 10/15/2001

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Sandpiper
Pages   32
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 8.75" Height: 10.75"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2001
Publisher   Voyager Books
Age  3-8
ISBN  015216362X  
ISBN13  9780152163624  

Availability  0 units.

More About Richard Wilbur & David Diaz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! RICHARD WILBUR has maintained a dual career as a teacher of Canadian history and a freelance journalist. His books include "Rise of French New Brunswick" and "Silver Harvest, the Fundy Weirmen's Story", which won the Canadian Historical Association Regional Certificate Award. He lives in St. Andrews NB.

Richard Wilbur currently resides in Cummington, in the state of Massachusetts. Richard Wilbur was born in 1921.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Authors & Illustrators, A-Z > ( D ) > Diaz, David
2Books > Subjects > Children > Baby-3 > Basic Concepts > Alphabet
3Books > Subjects > Children > Baby-3 > Basic Concepts > Words
4Books > Subjects > Children > Baby-3 > General
5Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Poetry > General
6Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Poetry > Humorous

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Disappearing Alphabet?

An imaginative ABC book for young and old  Sep 15, 2004
Richard Wilbur's The Disappearing Alphabet imagines what the world would be like if the letters of the alphabet vanished, in verses on subjects ranging from the ordinary to silly to sublime and existential. For instance, without "G," there would be no green and oak trees would be blue and pastures pink; without "N," birds would have wigs instead of wings; as for "O":

What if there were no letter O?
You couldn't COME, you couldn't GO,
You couldn't ROVE, you couldn't ROAM,
And yet you couldn't stay at HOME!
Where would you be, had heaven not sent you
The letter O to orient you?

Each letter is portrayed on a single page, with verses ranging from two to twelve lines. Each verse is beautifully illustrated by David Diaz's exquisite and unexpected designs, such as a lovely banana with a disgusting eel instead of a peel (illustrating the importance of the letter "P"). Diaz's illustrations are stylized in intense, gradient, glowing colors. The illustrations each overlay a pale yellow version of the letter found somewhere in the background of the page. The type is treated with the same care as the illustrations, with the letter to which the verse is addressed set off in a bold, colorful, sans serif font. Younger children will enjoy the nonsense-like poetry and the playfulness of the language, while older children will discover new and unusual vocabulary words and find inspiration by the possibilities of language. The introduction exhorts children to protect the alphabet: "Be careful, then, my friends, and do not let / Anything happen to the alphabet." This book will offer children of all ages an appreciation of letters, words, and language.
Without F . . . I would be aith  Jul 7, 2001
What would you do if the first letter of your name would disappear? Richard Wilbur gives a comical way to view the disappearance of the alphabet. He makes his readers think about the importance of the alphabet. 'What if there were no letter A? Cows would eat HY instead of HAY' This would be an excellent book to read to elementary students. After reading this book, they could think of what other words would be or sound like with a letter missing. The illustrations by David Diaz are unique to say the least. He uses vibrant colors and illustraions to stress the importance of what Wilbur is trying to convey. This book made me think about the alphabet in a different way. It will do the same for young readers.
Excellent:for its humor, poetic quality, illustrations.  Dec 17, 1998
I highly recommend this book. The lines are easy to remember, and are very quotable. They provide an introduction to poetry and to the play with language. They introduce vocabulary with humor. The illustrations are quite extraordinary, the print of high quality.

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