The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly
|The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly|
|Genre: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A gloriously spooky, brilliantly illustrated adventure through the alphabet. There's something new to discover every single time you read it. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: May 2009|
|External links: Author's website|
A is for Always, that's where we embark. B is for boat, pushing off in the dark... And so begins Neil Gaiman's adventure through the (unreliable) alphabet, in the company of two children and their gazelle. They do battle with monsters, hunt for treasure, and get into all manner of scrapes. What awaits them when they get to Z? Dare you read on?
Gaiman's words are, as always, beautifully written. It's a great poem for reading aloud, but Gris Grimly's illustrations are the stars of the show. Book reviewers (well, I) overuse the cliches that illustrations are there to be pored over, and that you'll get something new from them each time you read it. It's absolutely true here though. It was only when I got to the X page that I spotted the X-ray machine, and went back on a Where's Wally-style hunt on the other pages for all the items beginning with each letter. Each time I've read it since, I've spotted something new - a dandelion here, a pufferfish there. "Oh, it's a periwig. Ohhhhh, a raven. How did I miss that?"
The style of illustration is fantastic too. It's perfectly gruesome and scary. It's dripping with so much character, that as soon as you get to the end, you'll head straight back to the beginning and take it in some more. Adults will love it and teens will love it. Whilst it's probably a bit too spooky for the very youngest of children, if your young ones aren't too scared by monsters, there's nothing really to stop you from reading it together. Highly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
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