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Alphabet Under Construction
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About the Author

Denise Fleming has written and illustrated many children's books, including In the Tall, Tall Grass, Shout! Shout It Out!, and Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy. She won a Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond. Denise published her first painting in the third grade, when she started taking classes at the Toledo Museum of Art and one of her paintings was chosen to be the cover of a teacher's magazine. She now works primarily with paper, by pouring colored paper pulp through hand-cut stencils. She lives in Toledo, Ohio.

Reviews

PreS-K-One very active mouse constructs an alphabet with 26 sturdy verbs. Several of them may be unfamiliar to the preschool set-airbrush, dye, judge, level, quilt, tile, weld, or X-ray-but the art, combined with a helpful adult, should make the meanings clear. The vibrant illustrations "were created by pouring colored cotton fiber through hand-cut stencils" and have appealing texture and intense color. Though the text is limited to verb/letter ("folds the F, glues the G," etc.), the art (A and Z have spreads) is the strength of this offering. Mouse, who first appeared in Fleming's Lunch (Holt, 1995), is an enthusiastic builder though a bit untidy. Novice students of the alphabet may be enticed into constructing their own alphabets and/or gathering their own set of verbs. A worthy addition to the sea of ABC books.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Mouse, the rambunctious rodent first seen in Fleming's Lunch, returns in this concept-book salute to hands-on (or, in this case, paws-on) creativity. Beginning at the beginning the letter A, of course Mouse fashions letters by means of various arts and crafts. Fleming has embraced the broadest definition of "construction" to include such activities as sawing, gluing, buttoning, icing (as in a cake) and quilting. Young children will no doubt enjoy seeing Mouse scurry sometimes humorously splattered with materials from one letter to the next, although they may puzzle over a few of the scenes. A few of the entries strain to fit the overall theme as when Mouse X-rays the X, Yanks the Y and Judges the J. The always playful, exuberant mood of Fleming's handmade-paper artwork, however, remains intact. Her broad range of dynamic, intense colors envelops readers with its sunny warmth. Ages 2-5. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Fleming offers an engaging conceit executed in a marvelous medium." --Booklist, starred review

"Here's an alphabet book that's certainly worth waiting for." --Kirkus Reviews"

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