Cover image for Albert's alphabet
Albert's alphabet
Tryon, Leslie.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum ; Toronto : Collier Macmillan Canada, [1991]

Physical Description:
40 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Clever Albert uses all the supplies in his workshop to build an alphabet for the school playground.
General Note:
Rare Book Room copy; In glossy color pictorial paper covered board
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RBR ELLIS ABC 1991.T7 Juvenile Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Rare Books-Appointment Needed
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Clever Albert uses all the supplies in his workshop to build an alphabet for the school playground.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-6. Albert the duck, carpenter for the Pleasant Valley School, is charged by the principal with the building of an entire alphabet for the playground--by 3:00 p.m. After checking the time and his supplies, Albert sets to work, constructing a sculpture of each letter from scraps of wood. When he exhausts his supply of lumber, he substitutes other materials at hand--quarry rocks, firewood, the clothesline frame, and various pipes from his basement. Even the tree behind his house is fair game--it becomes a topiary Y. Albert's masterpiece, however, is Z--created by redesigning his entire house. Tryon's watercolor-and-pen illustrations are rich in hue and detail, yet never appear cluttered. Children (and their parents) will enjoy pondering Albert's various construction techniques and marvel at his ingenuity. Librarians leery of yet another alphabet book can rest assured--this one is worth every penny. ~--Kay Weisman

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Albert the duck gets a note from the principal asking him to build an alphabet on the school playground (``We must have it by three o'clock''), he is not flustered and sets to work immediately. Plan in wing, resourceful Albert attacks his materials with confidence and vigor. The vignettes depicting the creative ways in which Albert fashions the letters, with the clock ticking in the background, are ingenious in themselves, as are the finished products. Occasional aerial views reveal more of Albert's mechanics and expand the book's excellent spatial qualities. Tryon continues the suspense established with Albert's deadline: after the letter ``N,'' ``Albert used all of his lumber. What will he use now?'' Readers need not fear, since firewood, stovepipes, topiary and even--in a gloriously inventive finale--the workshop itself are employed to the fullest as this diligent duck completes his mission just in time. The challenge inherent in trying to second-guess Albert in his constructive quest makes this a useful tool for preschoolers. Unlike traditionally static alphabet renderings, the activity here is interesting enough to invite many repeat readings. Ages 3-6. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-- Albert, a goose who is the school carpenter, takes on the challenge of building a kind of alphabet par cours e for the walking path on the playground. His careful attention to detail, his thrifty use of material, and his inventiveness will give older preschoolers lots to admire in each letter. The almost entirely wordless book encourages concentration and sequencing (each page is divided into four smaller drawings, like a comic strip). Aerial views and close-ups require (and reward) attention. Children will enjoy Albert's ingenious solution to the problem of ``Z,'' and those curious about carpentry will derive particular pleasure from the many watercolor and ink drawings.-- Anna Biagioni Hart, Sherwood Regional Library, Alexandria, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.