Here’s a challenge for you:
Write an alphabet book. Use just one or two words per page, starting with an A-word on the first page and proceeding through the alphabet till the final Z-word on the last.
Make it appealing to kids just learning their alphabet, full of words they’re likely to use.
Make sure it’s a page-turner, full of action, conflict, and slapstick humor.
And be sure to end on a satisfying note.
Well, shoot. Looks like Mike Twohy’s already done all this with OOPS POUNCE QUICK RUN! (Balzer & Bray, 2016).
I marvel at books like this one, which seem so simple at first glance, but reveal their brilliance over multiple readings. It’s also well-structured around an organizing idea (the alphabet), and just right for its intended audience. In fact, it was a 2017 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book (that’s the one that recognizes distinguished books for beginning readers).
Mike Twohy is a longtime New Yorker cartoonist, so the guy knows how to tell visual stories in a compact space. As a writer, the book challenges me to think about those kids just beginning to read on their own, to imagine my story visually, and it reminds me of the power of brevity, action and humor (especially of the slapstick variety).
Now QUICK! RUN to the library and POUNCE on it!
How clever and fun! Good for Mr. Twohy! (and congratulations on the Theodore Seuss Geisel honor).
Hi, Lori! Yes, hooray for Mr. Twohy and the well-deserved Geisel award!
That’s awesome! So simple and yet I’m sure it wasn’t! THanks for sharing, Linda.
Yes, it’s deceptively simple, Luanne. I’d love to know how long he worked on it!
What a wonderful mentor text for low-word count concept books!
Yes, it really is, Patricia!
I love it when a simple idea is executed well. So much to learn from this one.
Yes, exactly. Thanks, David!
I’m going to run and pounce on this book once I find it!
I think you’ll like it, Danielle!
I haven’t seen this one yet, but it’s going on my list right now. CLEVER!!!
It’s super clever, Jill. It’s on my (very long) list of book ideas I wish I’d thought of. 🙂
Looks like a fun read!
It really is, Rachel. Check it out!
It really is, Buffy!
Well, that’s such an ingenious and unique ABC book. I’m up to the challenge as I attempt to draft a pb manuscript using this format. I look forward to reading this alphabet caper book.
It really is ingenious, Suzy. I think you’ll like it!
Low word count, humorous illustrations and educational – a great mentor text for writing for early readers!
Absolutely right. Thanks for reading, Judy!
I, too, loved this book. Just looking at the title brings a smile.
Thanks for the reminder.
Thanks for reading, Susan. Glad to hear you’re a fellow OOPS fan!
Great post! 🙂
Janee Trasler did a great alphabet book that tells a story in much the same way.
It’s called CAVEMAN: A B.C. STORY.
That sounds very clever also, Tammi. Love the title! I’ll check it out!
Just wonderful. Inspiring masterclass thankyou
Thanks for reading, Julia!
I love it!
It’s a great book, Cindy. I bet you’ll like it!
Exactly! Thanks for reading, Barb!
I. Just. Keep. Loving. Mike.
Wow, Linda! Thanks for pointing this fantastic book out to us. I love a picture book that can be so successful on so many different levels. It makes it a worthy investment for any classroom, or home library!
This looks extremely clever and hard to pull off — can’t wait to check it out! Thanks for sharing, Linda!
Wow, looks neat. And what a good writing idea to use 1 word per letter and tell a complete story! Thanks for sharing, Linda!
This book looks wonderful. I can’t wait to read it. (I’m sure my grandson will love it too!)