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What You Need to Know:
• This book offers a fun and clever way to get kids engaged as they unwittingly learn the letters of the alphabet.
• According to Chronicle Books, this concept was inspired by the short video, Alphabet House by Ezra Fields-Meyer.
• Fourteen-year-old, Ezra, is an animator who was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism at the age of three.
• Tom Lichtenheld also illustrated Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Duck! Rabbit!
• Reading with "O's" instead of "E's" may challenge new readers so this story would best be read with an adult, at least the first time through.
• Fun facts...the last page of the book lists the letters and their frequency of use. Z is obviously used the least, but you may be surprised at which letter comes in first.
This book really brings the ABC's to life. These letters fly kites, go swimming and jump on their beds. They have thoughts like "I'm still sleepy" and "I love these old comic books." They all live together in one big, fun-filled house until poor letter E tumbles down the stairs and ends up in the hospital. The other letters take charge, deciding that O will take E's place because he's so "well-rounded." They make the announcement on TV, and D and C go to Washington to instruct everyone to stop using the letter E so that he can get better. Some letters even go on talk shows to get the word out about E's injury. Of course, using O instead of E causes a lot of confusion. Words like Cafeteria become "Cafotoria" and Spelling Test becomes "Spolling Tost." Even Target has to change to "Targot!" Despite the efforts of the other letters, E doesn't seem to be improving. As a last resort, the letters journey around the world, visiting places like "Mount Roshmoro" and the "Liborty Boll" to make sure that no one is using their friend, E.
Kids will enjoy this story so much, they won't even realize they're learning along the way. They'll laugh as the letters take action and show a range of emotions that express surprise, concern, excitement and happiness. They'll also find clever word plays and jokes throughout the book. The tone is set early when readers meet The Cast (the letters) and "The Other Cast" which is the cast on E's foot. If they pay attention to the details as they read on, readers will discover a lot more humor than what appears on the surface. When E falls down, Y asks "Why is E on the floor? Is she exercising? Eavesdropping? Excavating?" Z is next seen saying, "I'm exhausted!" as he yawns. When the letters go on "The O Show", P says "I have to go to tho bathroom," U says "Again?!" and N says "You two shouldn't sit together!" These are just a few examples of the fun that's in store for both adults and kids as they read E-mergency!
Here's Ezra Fields-Meyer's original video, Alphabet House:
Tom Lichtenheld & Ezra Fields-Meyer
2011, 40 pgs
Excellent Read-Aloud, Humor, Learning Basics
• How many letters are there in the alphabet? Do you have a favorite letter?
• What would you guess is the most used letter in the English language?
• Why is each letter of the alphabet just as important as the others?
• What would your life be like if you couldn't use one of the letters of the alphabet?
• Did you guess why E wasn't getting any better?