Those looking for an "M is for Matey" type of treatment will have to plunder elsewhere, as Sobel's (B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC ) alphabet does its playful swashbuckling in a slightly less traditional manner. True enough, Sobel's bossy pirate captain (depicted as an alligator wearing a rubber-ducky inner-tube around his waist) sets the seafaring adventure afloat when he roars quasi pirate-speak from the deck, " 'R's not enough./ We need other letters/ to make us tough.'/ 'Let's sail far away/ to find ABC's.' " A motley, if enthusiastic crew of yellow-toothed animal buccaneers rallies to his cry for a treasure hunt, chronicled in the jaunty rhyming story on the subsequent pages. "The anchor went into an A !/ A B floated by on the crystal clear bay." Young readers will find plenty of maritime and pirate-centric booty, including doubloons , hook , landlubber , yo-ho-ho-ho , and certainly X marking a special spot as they spy each letter printed in a bold red typeface. Cole's (Dinorella ) rollicking, sweetly comic watercolors capture typically imagined details from a pirate band--deck swabbing, a tyrannical leader, walking the plank. And Sobel's action-filled story line gives the artist lots of leeway to be creative with other funny bits, too. Ahoy! A nifty concept book. Ages 2-5. (May)[Page 62]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
K-Gr 2 -These animal pirates decide that they need more than the letter "R" ("R's not enough./We need other letters/to help make us tough"), so they set off to find the remaining 25. Led by a crocodile captain (with a hook, no less), the band of buccaneers searches far and wide to complete their mission. Some letters are found near items that begin with that letter, e.g., an anchor, gold, or a parrot. Others are in situations that involve the letter in action-"Q" is questioned, "U" is underwater. Still others are described, as in the case of the "nimble N." Some alphabet books struggle to incorporate "X," but as any young pirate knows, "X" marks the spot on a treasure map. The rhyming text is more suited to reading aloud as it includes a number of words that would have beginning readers asking for assistance. The colorful cartoon illustrations encourage children to participate by finding the sought-after letters, which appear in bright red uppercase in each scene. This alphabet adventure is sure to capture audience attention at a pirate-themed storyhour, and it will be enjoyed by individual borrowers.-Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA[Page 127]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.