nonfiction nuggets…oh the things you can do…with a Q

Alphabeasties and Other Amazing Types, by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss

An alphabeastie is, for example, a proud, two-humped camel…made out of C’s; an extremely elongated giraffe…made out of G’s…and g’s.  An alert dachshund built out of D’s. 

And an alphabeastie book is an alphabet book and  brilliant graphic-design triumph all rolled into one!

Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss are simply dotty about type.  They’ve used their love to win numerous graphic design awards, and now to create this whimsical, imaginative book that’s definitely not just for the preschool crowd.

Each two-page spread features a letter of the alphabet.  The first thing you see is a fantastic animal, formed out of its beginning letter.  An alligator of A’s.   A lion of L’s. 

The varying typefaces reflect the personality of the animal, and the size and boldness of the type creates the pleasing animal design.  Some animals are so special, they need an extra flap folding out of the page to accomodate them; the unicorn, for instance, simply has to l-e-a-p cloudward in fantastical grace…and of course he needs extra space to do that.  And this Octopus required room to droop his tentacles:

Besides these awesome animals, each page is rimmed with other clever creations made out of letters.  An s that’s become a snowman.  A zipper made of z’s.  A row of chartreuse p’s lining a peapod like sweet peas should.  The featured letter also pops up in varied typefaces with a bit of quirky commentary on it’s appearance:  “The uppercase Q is quietly sticking out its tongue.”  The authors’ imaginations are like sparklers fitzing and spritzing which are

oh look! bugs made out of numbers, too!

happily captured in the pages of this book for you to enjoy!

My daughter, who works at a fabulous toy shop in the Twin Cities, told me about this book, one they carry.  (The authors, I’m proud to say, are from St. Paul.)  Though it’s housed in children’s nonfiction in my library and sold in toy stores, this is a book adults will enjoy, graphic design junkies will drool over, and kids from mid-elementary and up will pour over. Try it for a long summer car-ride.

Here’s an Amazon link: Alphabeasties: And Other Amazing Types