Alphabet Adventure

by Audrey Wood, Illustrated By Bruce Wood

The Blue Sky Press
August 2001

Ages 4 – 8 . Grades PreK – 3

Library of Congress: 00067994

Lexile measure: AD580L

DRA: 16

Guided Reading: I



Come join the fun and solve a simple alphabet mystery!

All the little letters from Charley's Alphabet have learned their proper order, from a to z. They're ready to go to school, but suddenly something is wrong! Little i has lost her dot, and none of the letters can find it. Can you?

Children, parents, and teachers will have a great time finding and identifying the "little" letters on every page -- and when the little letters meet up with a party of "big" letters, the entire alphabet, large and small, can be found in one exuberant scene. From games of hide-and-seek to a wealth of teaching tools, you're off on an Alphabet Adventure -- a new way of learning your a-b-c's.
Audrey Wood

Audrey Wood has been writing award-winning children's books for more than 30 years. She often collaborates with her husband, Don Wood (IT'S DUFFY TIME; THE NAPPING HOUSE; KING BIDGOOD'S IN THE BATHTUB; MERRY CHRISTMAS, BIG HUNGRY BEAR), and she has created many bestsellers with their son, Bruce (ALPHABET MYSTERY; TEN LITTLE FISH). Audrey also illustrates books herself, including BLUE SKY (2012); SILLY SALLY; and A DOG NEEDS A BONE.
Bruce Wood

As a fifth-generation professional artist, I grew up with art all around me - in the studios of my parents and grandparents. I have always been very interested in art - it always seemed like a lot of fun.

One of the major advantages of growing up in a family of artists is the support you receive while learning your art form. It was also a unique experience. One year for my birthday, my parents made me a kid-sized cardboard castle out of refrigerator boxes in our backyard. It took me a few years to realize that not all my friends' parents were as creative as mine.

My initial interest in digital art came about at a young age. I started using Commodore 64's when I was eleven or twelve, and by age thirteen, I could do basic programming. Since then, I was always interested in how companies made computer games, and I think that's what ultimately led me to 3-D design.

In 1991, I attended the California Institute of the Arts, where I studied drama and advanced my interest in art created on the computer. Then, in 1993, I decided to enroll in the innovative San Francisco State Multimedia Center, where I pursued my long-standing interest in designing computer programs by studying animation and 3-D modeling.

This year I joined my family's creative team and illustrated my first book, The Christmas Adventure of Space Elf Sam. The book took me over two years to make, and it was a true family collaboration. My mom wrote the story and my dad, Don Wood, functioned as art director.

I love telling stories with my art, and picture books are just that. And of course, I love seeing the face of a young child, sitting on a bookstore floor, completely immersed in a book that I have created.

Aside from being a children's book illustrator, I also surf, snowboard, and sail, which means that I do get to see the sun sometimes.


  • The alphabet letters are stuck on Alphabet Island "Oh, who knows what to do?" There's no pageboy to pull the plug and solve the problem in Wood's King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (1985). An adult reading to a child, however, might be tempted to pull the plug on the plodding story and concentrated solely on the vibrant, double-page spread by Wood's son. The story follows a cast of 3-D lower-case alphabet letters (plus their leader, Capital T for teacher) preparing to leave Alphabet Island to go to school. Little "i" loses her dot, setting up a slight mystery that sends the letters all over the island for it; it's hiding somewhere in each illustration. The missing dot returns when she is about to be replaced, and the alphabet team climbs aboard a pencil to jet off to school, where they help a boy spell his name. The computer-generated illustrations far surpass the slight story, with jaunty letters in crayon-bright colors and an appealing Alphabet Island full of turquoise canals, palm trees, and brightly painted row houses. Illustrator Wood creatively varies the perspective with overhead views and flying pencils that seem to rocket right off the page. Preschoolers can learn the names of the letters as they peruse the fascinating are, created with 3-D modeling software.
    ---Kirkus Reviews, July 1st 2001

    The 26 lowercase letters have worked hard all summer under the tutelage of their teacher, Capital T. At last they are ready to leave Alphabet Island to help a child learn his ABCs. But before they depart, Little i falls into the canal and loses her dot. Consternation and confusion ensue, for clearly the letters can't go to school if Little i has no dot! Fortunately, Capital I joins the search and formulates a clever plan that saves the day. Joyfully the little letters hop aboard a yellow pencil and fly off to school to form their first word, bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion. This unusual alphabet book boasts not only a clever, original, and engaging story but also lavish, computer-generated pictures by the author's son. His Alphabet Island has the hot colors and lush tropical look of Miami Beach, and his double-page spreads are positively cinematic, with wide-screen scope and inventive use of perspective. Best of all, Wood manages to invest his three-dimensional letters with individual personalities that kids will find irresistible. -Michael Cart
    --Booklist, September 1st 2001

    In this cleverly conceived and dramatically executed story, the small letters of Charley's Alphabet are ready to graduate to their real task, which is to help the child learn his ABCs. Unfortunately, an accident that leaves little "i" missing its dot threatens to derail the mission. Capital "I" saves the day with a clever plan and all is well for the little alphabet and Charley. There are many crafty elements to this clever story. After little "i" is rescued, the other letters are so excited that they line up in the wrong order and some are upside down or backwards. Observant youngsters will spy little "'i's" dot following it. The glossy illustrations are computer generated. Highlights, textures, and shadows are extremely successful using this medium and add great interest. Each page glows with jewel tones and is a feast for the eye. Children who are mastering the alphabet will be fascinated by this book, not only because of the letters but also in the suggestion that the alphabet can be theirs.
    ---School LibraryJournal, September 2001



Jacketed Hardcover / Smyth

ISBN: 9780439080699

40pp. | 10-¾ x 9-⅝