the dangerous alphabet

30 DAYS OF PB 2013 aDay Four: The Dangerous Alphabet

written by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Gris Grimly

HarperCollins, 2008.

TheDangerousAlphabet_Hardcover_1210447336I’m not sure how the rule works, but surely there must be so many alphabet books per so many Picture Books. I am going to share at least two. You’re welcome. Every child should become expert on the alphabet and expanding their lexicon is just as important (e.g. “E is for evil,” “V is for vile,” “H is for ‘Help me!’) . Of course, The Dangerous Alphabet¬†includes a warning that reads: “The alphabet, as given in this publication, is not to be relied upon and has a dangerous flaw that an eagle-eyed reader may be able to discern.” Even so, they make the 26 lines of rhyme exciting to the most reluctant early reader–educationally speaking, because that is what these alphabet books are for, right? …


page one: an introduction: and the reason you either will or will not get this book:

“A piratical ghost story in thirteen ingenious but potentially disturbing rhyming couplets, originally conceived as a confection both to amuse and to entertain by Mr. Neil Gaiman, scrivener, and then doodled, elaborated upon, illustrated, and beaten soundly by Mr. Gris Grimly, etcher and illuminator, featuring two brave children, their diminutive but no less courageous gazelle, and a large number of extremely dangerous trolls, monsters, bugbears, creatures, and other such nastinesses, many of which have perfectly disgusting eating habits and ought not, under any circumstances, to be encouraged.”


recommendations: ¬†After your child has graduated from this one. Be sure to have a handy copy of Edward Gorey’s The Gashly Crumb Tinies¬†(my review) on hand for their middle-school review of the alphabet…

{images belong to Gris Grimly..whose Edgar Allen Poe books are not to be missed}

Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

2 thoughts on “the dangerous alphabet

  1. One of my favorite picture books. I remember being so excited when I stumbled across it in a bookstore when it was first released. Gris Grimley does really fun work. He has been at both Spectrum Fantastic Art Live shows and it has been great to see his originals.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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