With this in mind, Michaël Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo have designed an alphabet book with a difference. Each double-page spread highlights one letter by using a word that features it, and a new word which is created when that letter is removed.
“Without the A the BEAST is the BEST” depicts a rotund hairy beast standing in the winner’s position on a podium, visually demonstrating the two words. Other examples I particularly enjoyed were: “Without the N the MOON says MOO” where a cow dressed in a superhero cape and mask is leaping over the moon, accompanied by a cat playing a fiddle, and “Without the I STAIRS lead to the STARS” showing a staircase spiraling up through the clouds and into a starry night. But it’s difficult to choose favourites - they’re all fantastic, and the explanation behind “Without the Z” is a nice nod to the alphabet song so many children are taught.
Take Away the A is a clever and fun book with quirky illustrations in muted colours. But more than that, it’s a book to explore language and word games, and turns vocabulary and spelling into a creative activity.
Title: Take Away the A
Author: Michaël Escoffier
Illustrator: Kris Di Giacomo
Publisher: Enchanted Lion, $22.99 RRP
Publication Date: December 2014
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture book