Middle School Monday | Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters

Format: Hardcover, 112 pages
Published: Oct 14th 2014
Genre: Short Stories, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780399167911
Age Range: 4+
Rating: 4/5

If words make up the stories and letters make up the words, then stories are made up of letters. In this menagerie we have stories made of words, made FOR all the letters.

The most inventive and irresistible book of the year spans a mere 26 letters (don’t they all!) and 112 pages. From an Astronaut who’s afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, Once Upon an Alphabet is a creative tour de force from A through Z. Slyly funny in a way kids can’t resist, and gorgeously illustrated in a way readers of all ages will pour over, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet in a way that will forever raise the bar.

I love this Jeffers book because it is different. I love reading short stories to children, and there are plenty of options out there. There are little story books, compilation sets and even a brand called 5-minute stories, but nothing, in my mind compares to these.
Jeffers has created a book made of stories, each story has its own letter that is the ‘star’ of the story. Has this not been done before? Why has no one done this before!? I admit, the stories are a little short (but short for an adult is much different, I think they are just long enough to hold a child’s attention) but they are clever, and funny and illustrated in that amazing Oliver Jeffers way.
A great item for the classroom, all of those younger grades that are learning the letters, this is a great reference and could be a fun activity, how many D’s did Jeffers use in the story. You get my point, and teachers are creative, I’m sure they can come up with tons of fun ideas and activities surrounding a book like this! Plus, this is your classroom read aloud for a whole month (and a bit longer!), that takes a bit of stress out of your planning now doesn’t it!
I think this book is going to be soaked up very quickly by parents and will soon be on the “must-have” list on your children’s shelves. What great way to start associating letters together, my name starts with A – in Jeffers’ book, A is for astronaut! That means I could be an astronaut when I grow up! Okay, it may be a little late for me, but hopefully not for the young ones!
Hopefully the child’s name doesn’t start with C, no one wants to be a cup stuck in a cupboard!

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