Learn more about The Dangerous Alphabet:
Publish Date: 7/27/2010
8 to 12
|As two children and their pet gazelle sneak out of the house in search of treasure, they come across a world beneath the city that is inhabited with monsters and pirates. *Author: Gaiman, Neil/ Grimly, Gris (ILT) *Publication Date: 2010/07/27 *Number of Pages: 32 *Binding Type: Paperback *Grade Level: Preschool *Language: English *Depth: 0.25 *Width: 11.00 *Height: 7.25|
|From the Publisher:
A is for Always, that's where we embark . . .
Two children, treasure map in hand, and their pet gazelle sneak past their father, out of their house, and into a world beneath the city, where monsters and pirates roam.
Will they find the treasure? Will they make it out alive?
Combine Edward Gorey's GASHLYCRUMB TINIES with a Tim Burton-esque landscape and the product might just be THE DANGEROUS ALPHABET. Though the audience is the picture book crowd, this alphabetical journey is filled with silly and sophisticated nightmarish imagery suited best to older readers and adult Neil Gaiman fans. Two children and a big-eyed gazelle find their way through a dark underworld where the alphabet isn't always as predictable as usual. Accompanied by wonderfully creepy illustrations. Gaiman is the author of many adult and children's books including CORALINE and THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS.
British writer Neil Gaiman is an artist whose creativity does not limit itself to a particular medium or genre. The creator of popular works for adults and children, Gaiman is perhaps best known for his graphic novels. He has, however, also written critically acclaimed novels and collections of short fiction, as well as scripts for films and television, poems, and even song lyrics. His works cross genre boundaries, touching on fantasy, science fiction, horror, comedy, and fairy tales. A New Yorker article ("Kid Goth," 01/25/2010) quotes Alan Moore describing Gaiman's work as, "kind of fey in the best sense of the word. His best effects come out of people or characters or situations in the real world being starkly juxtaposed wit this misty fantasy world."||Born in 1960 in Portsmouth, Gaiman grew up in East Grinstead in West Sussex. His family is of Polish-Jewish origin, and although his parents remained deeply connected with Judaism, they were also practicing Scientologists. In fact, his father held an official position with the Church of Scientology until his death in 2009. (This would at times complicate young Neil's life--at one point he was denied entry to a primary school because of his father's affiliation.) Although Gaiman rejected Scientology as an adult, he did meet his first wife, Mary McGrath, while she was also studying Dianetics. ||Gaiman's first published work was journalistic, and throughout his 20's he actively pursued work writing for magazines and newspapers. He wrote a never-published biography of the band Duran Duran. In 1987 Gaiman bridged his non-fiction work and the creative fiction that would become his forte with the publication of DON'T PANIC: THE OFFICIAL HITCHHIKER'S GUID TO THE GALAXY COMPANION. In the 1980s he also became friends with British comics author Alan Moore (THE WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, etc.), and through this friendship, Gaiman started getting work writing for comics. He made a name for himself, albeit perhaps as an underground figure, with his SANDMAN series, published between 1989 and 1996. This nine-time Eisner Award winning series follows Dream (aka Morpheus), the lord of the dream world--along with his often-bickering siblings Death, Despair, Destiny, Destruction, Desire, and Delirium--on various mystical and gothic adventures. ||Dysfunctional families return as a theme for Gaiman, notably in CORALINE, a children's book that topped the best-sellers charts in 2002 about a young girl who enters a parallel reality where she finds a much more satisfactory family. Other stand-out work includes THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS (2003), a book illustrated by Dave McKean which was adapted for opera; novels AMERICAN GODS (2001), ANANSI BOYS (2005), and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (2008), which adapted Rudyard Kipling's THE JUNGLEBOOK; as well as co-authoring the script for Robert Zemeckis's BEOWOLF. Always attuned to trends and innovations, Gaiman was one of the first writers to keep a blog, launching his effort in 2001. As of 2010, he had 1.4 million readers.||A family man himself, Gaiman has three children with his first wife. Over the years he has formed several celebrity friendships, including with musicians Tori Amos and Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. In January 2010, he announced his engagement to singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls. At that time, Gaiman was living in Minneapolis, where he moved from England in 1992.
"Richly detailed watercolors in muted shades along a spectrum from sepia to salmon make Edward Gorey's work seem bereft of ghoulish imagination by comparison...."
"Though some lines...strain to fit the narrative, in general the couplets demonstrate Gaiman's facility with language and imagery, flowing well and suggesting philosophical depth."
"[F]unny, frightening and confusing all at once...Gaiman's rhyming verse is a cheeky alphabetical list loosely describing the children's journey, but the humor seems better aimed at older kids than the publisher's recommended '5 and up.' Call me a goody-two-shoes, but I won't be reading the words 'Q is for Quiet (bar one muffled scream)' to my kindergartner anytime soon."