- Illustrator: Neil Gaiman
- Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS
- Published: August 2010
- ISBN-10: 0060783354
- ISBN-13: 9780060783358
- Format: Paperback
- Copyright: 2010
- Subject: JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General
Two children, treasure map in hand, and their pet gazelle sneak past their father, out of their house, and into a world beneath the city. where monsters and pirates roam. Will they find the treasure? will they make it out alive? Color illus. (Ages: 5 & up).
Normal abecedarian fodder gets a poke in the ribcage with this most unusual alphabet tale. A boy and a girl clad in rumpled Victorian weeds and their stalwart gazelle navigate both monsters and madmen in hopes of reaching their final destination. Unfortunately, along the way the girl is taken captive and it's up to the boy and gazelle to rescue her from a series of ingenious nightmares. Each letter of the alphabet occupies one half of a rhyming couplet, objects that begin with each letter appearing on the pages in a sort of Gothic Animalia (Graeme Base, 1986). Grimly's gleefully ghoulish Tim Burton-esque line-and-watercolor illustrations are the star here. The letters have a haphazard relationship to their couplets, as with "Z waits alone and it's not for a thing," and there is one instance in which two letters appear out of order, rendering this alphabet "not to be relied upon." Fans of both creators' works will seek this title out, as will adults of the macabre persuasion. Children appear to be a secondary consideration. (Picture book. 7-12) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
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