'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Review: An A to Z of Twords

Regular readers of KBR know we have a real passion for ‘different’. For books that sit way outside the square – in concept, in look, in tone, in creativity, in cleverness. Whilst the market is saturated with brilliant books that tick many of these boxes, it’s often rare to find a book that ticks them all.

Enter An A to Z of Twords. Conceived by the brilliant and way-outside-the-square Mr Gresty, this gorgeous book ticks so many boxlike boxes, it’s in danger of becoming circular.

Just looking at the cover of this book is enough to send any book lover or design-addict into rapture. And what of the book title – Twords? Well, twords are made up of two words (I so hope Mr Gresty has patented this moniker)... words like butterfly, donkey, quicksand, pineapple.

One day, Mr Gresty, who just happens to love words, became entranced at the amount of words in the English language that comprised two independent words. He began cataloguing these words at every opportunity, and soon had hundreds, including this A to Z collection.

What I love about this book is how the A to Z concept is taken to whole new levels, with the exploration of new and combined words. For A, we learn that A is for Arm-band. We are then given an explanation – sort of like a dictionary entry – of Arm-band, before moving on to the descriptions of both words – Arm and Band.

On top of this, Mr Gresty provides us some true visual splendour with his delightfully retro graphic illustrations, using colour-blocking, silhouettes and fabulous fontfacing. The pages are so darn attractive, you want to rend them from the book’s spine and line them up on the walls of your child’s room (in which case you will need three copies – two to rend, one to act as a keeper).

I adore this book for its design aesthetics and cleverness, but I also inwardly squeal over its glorious educational potential. School teachers and librarians would love it, and parents who pine to combine brain-enhancement with their child’s reading pleasure will become similarly entranced (and quite possibly find it surprisingly difficult to unhand said book to said child).

A modern classic, well worth seeking out. See purchasing options at www.twordsbook.com.

Title: An A to Z of Twords
Author/Illustrator: Mr Gresty
Publisher: Mr Gresty, £15.99
Publication Date: July 2011
ISBN: 9780956928504
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book