Cover image for Alphaboat
Title:
Alphaboat
Author:
Chesworth, Michael.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary:
Rhyming text full of puns tells the story of the letters of the alphabet sailing off to look for a buried treasure.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.0 0.5 63019.
ISBN:
9780374302443
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

An alphabet adventure

One day i chanced to stop for t
and listen to sweet Mellow D ,
in her old H beside the sea,
sing of her long-lost Mister E .

She said he'd hid a treasure chest
out on an I -land to the west.
Just where it's buried she knew not.
But X would surely mark the spot.

Come join the letter men of the Alphaboat as they cross the high seas on a treasure-hunting trip! All twenty-six characters are here, from uppercase officers Captain C and Admiral T to lowercase crewmen silent e and sleepy z .

Packed with visual and verbal puns, this jaunty picture book salutes nautical yarns of yore as it takes readers where no alphabet book has sailed before.

A Junior Library Guild Selection


Author Notes

Michael Chesworth has illustrated many picture books and is also the creator of Rainy Day Dream and Archibald Frisby , a Reading Rainbow Feature Book. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. This isn't the anticipated nautical abecedarian suggested by the title. Rather, it's an ingenious story about letters sailing off to look for buried treasure, told in rhyming text awash with wordplay. Scenes of the Alphaboat at sail are bordered with wide, white margins, and cartoon balloons contain comments made by the colorfully animated letter-characters in the artwork. Each letter in the text appears in thick, brown type, which helps emphasize the wordplay. "One day i chanced to stop for t / and listen to sweet Mellow D, / in her old h beside the sea, / sing of her long-lost Mister E." Some of the verbal wit seems more for adults than kids, but children who like words games will delve into the puns and return for repeat voyages. This jaunty picture book is a letter-perfect stretch of the imagination--right down to the final "roll call--that is when we discover it's the . . . n." --Julie Cummins


Publisher's Weekly Review

Witty wordplay is the centerpiece of a rhyming caper that gives a fond nod to William Steig's C D B! Involving a search for buried treasure conducted by the letters of the alphabet, the story line takes a back seat to nonstop, laugh-out-loud punning and Chesworth's (Archibald Frisby) clever integration of language and art. One morning, the letter "i," while sipping "t" with "sweet Mellow D," hears of buried treasure on a faraway island. He builds a ship ("The Alphaboat must have a crew!/ i, m coming, u, r, too"), and the aforementioned lowercase letters board the vessel preceded by fancy capitals T, C and A ("So everybody knows his place/ the officers are uppercase"). Each page overflows with jokes, ranging from groaners to the sneakily subtle. The sailors squabble as they disembark, "Hey! i before e!" "Except after C"; foul weather is described as a "nasty scrawl" and rendered as a sepia cloud of illegible script ("A cursive storm," wails a passenger via a voice bubble). With a restrained pen and watercolors in natural, muted tones, Chesworth effectively juxtaposes an 18th-century nautical ambience with comical, pun-infused caricatures. This brain-teasing voyage through the alphabet should tickle the newly literate and old salts as well. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Right from the copyright page ("I dedicate this book to u"), readers will know that they are in for an outrageous adventure as the crew of the Alphaboat sets sail to find a buried treasure. Chesworth's rhymed voyage is chock-full of visual and verbal puns and wordplay that will delight savvy readers. Reminiscent of William Steig's C D B! (S & S, 2000), this book features a full-blown story as the letters go about gathering a crew, ship building, sailing, fighting storms ("a nasty scrawl"), and digging up buried treasure (a dictionary with "`gold' and `silver,' `jewels' and `loot,' and other precious words, to boot"). They sail home around the "Isle of Write," "Pencilvania," "Sands Serif," and "Exclamation Point," and return at the "n" to celebrate their success (which deserves an "apos-trophy"). The "N R G" of the text and the "e's" with which the author/illustrator uses rhymes contribute to the bouncing cadence of the story. The cartoon illustrations will captivate kids as they try to solve the wordplay puzzles in every scene. Each full-color watercolor-and-ink illustration is framed within neat black borders and extends the text with a wealth of visual jokes, hints, and goofy asides. The sophistication of some of the humor may challenge some children, but the abundance of accessible puns will have them examining this literary "I Spy" book to uncover yet another jaunty groaner.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.