In Alphabet-Saurus, Hurwitz shares a collection of original fables intended for readers of all ages. Readers are introduced to an imaginative cast of twenty-six characters with names as outlandish as their stories. Silly tongue-twister names like King Kubla Kahn and Maureen oMeagin oShamus oSheegan, reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein, catch readers attention from the beginning of the poem. The magical fantasy lands inhabited by trolls, gnomes, and pixies further draw young readers into each tale as well as hold the attention of any adult reader. The entertaining, character-driven tales are forward-moving keeping readers engaged and eager to know the fate of the title character. Whats the snap heard when Deadeye Dick the short, stout older brother of Captain Hook is caught in a tug-o-war with a crocodile and fellow pirates? Should Harry Hobgloblin really worry about the Martian invasion reported in the morning newspaper?
Because of rhythm, some tales are more enjoyable than others when read aloud. Sidney Snake was on the make/And said, Just watch me have my cake/And eat it too! All doors swing ope/Its such a joke begins one tale. The book would benefit from more color and illustrations to accompany the fables. For instance, I would love to have seen an illustration of the fanciful frog appropriately named Fauntleroy that sports a bowler, cloak, and wig. Each poem is preceded by a page adorned with eccentric pencil drawings encircling the representative letter of the alphabet. An alternate design might use these pages to incorporate images from the poem offering readers a clue about what is to follow.
Through humorous tales of varying lengths, Hurwitz accomplishes his goal of creating fun, thoughtful poems lacking unnecessary cruelty and gratuitous pain. As with most collections, readers will discover favorite characters and poems, and disregard others. On the whole, readers young and old will find this collection pleasing.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||80 pages|
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