by Michaël Escoffier (Author) Kris Di Giacomo (Illustrator)
Take Away the A is a fun, imaginative romp through the alphabet. The idea behind the book is that within every language there are words that change and become a different word through the simple subtraction of a single letter. In other words, without the "A," the Beast is Best. Or, without the "M," a chomp becomes a chop--though it could be that this particular play on words didn't even make it into the book, there are so many! We certainly don't want to give too much away. . . . Now, take a look and find some more! Discovering all of the words in the book is a lot of fun, and then there's the wild, exciting adventure that follows, of trying to find more!
Michaël Escoffier was born in France in 1970. Raised by a family of triceratops, he discovered his passion for writing and telling stories at a young age. He lives in Lyon, France, with his wife and two children.
Kris Di Giacomo is a popular children's book illustrator who has lived in France for most of her life. After living in the United States for a while, she moved to France, where teaching English to young children and discovering French picture books were the triggers that led her into illustration. This is her fourth book to be published with Enchanted Lion Books.
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Just when it feels like there's nothing new under the abecedarian sun, Escoffier and Di Giacomo, the team behind Brief Thief and other titles, showcase the magic of subtraction as it relates to letters, revealing how removing a single letter from a word transforms it into something else entirely. "Without the A, the beast is the best," Escoffier begins, as Di Giacomo pictures a gray, fanged monster hoisting a trophy into the air while wearing a sash that pronounces him "scariest & hairiest." (The competition wasn't exactly stiff: a nonthreatening duck and a forlorn fish occupy the second- and third-place spots on the podium.) The scenarios that follow can be romantic (after losing a G, "the glove falls in love"--with a blushing octopus), whimsical, or downright unsettling. "Without the P, the plate is too late" accompanies a scene that show mice frantically trying to deliver dinner to a cat, which has a mouse's tail dangling from its mouth. Beyond the inherent fun of the concept (which has plenty of potential for classroom activities), every scene tells a story--it's practically 26 books in one. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 1-3--This is a clever and engaging "alphabeast of a book" for children capable of basic word recognition. The premise is that less is indeed more, as Escoffier moves through the alphabet, and removes a letter on each spread. Taking away an "A," "B," or "C," etc., transforms each highlighted word into a totally new one, and the wacky, almost surreal (plants wearing pants) images reinforce the humor and add to the literal wordplay. For example, "Without the D DICE are ICE" shows a wolf and a goose playing cards, while sipping umbrella drinks with ivory cubes inside. "Without the K the MONKEY makes MONEY" features a monkey ringing up sales on a cash register at his banana stand. Kids will have fun coming up with, and illustrating, reductive examples of their own. Inspired and instructive silliness.--Luann Toth, School Library JournalCopyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
"You will want this book. I guarantee it.
Best. Alphabet Book. Ever."
— Mary Lee, A Year of Reading
"This literary treat for 4- to 8-year-olds will have children yanking letters out of words for fun in no time." — Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal