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The Dangerous Alphabetby Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly
I've always loved formal verse forms, and a few years ago I thought it might be fun to write an Alphabetical Poem, the kind I'd read in children's books when I was a boy. So I wrote one — a very odd one, filled with pirates and ghosts and treasure, and I sent it out as a Christmas Card. My editor, Elise Howard called me up and said, "That Alphabet Poem of yours is hanging over my desk. Why don't we do it as a book?"
And I said, "It's a very DANGEROUS alphabet, though."
She agreed that it was. We would need an artist who was up to the job.
Elise sent me books by Gris Grimly and asked if I would like him to illustrate it, and I grinned and grinned.
Gris and I had several long phone conversations, plotting out what we wanted to see in an Alphabet book, working out the story. And then Gris went down into the sewers, and drew pirates and monsters and tribes of mysterious people and treasure, and he came up and showed me what he'd found.
It's the story of two brave children and their pet Ibex. Or the story of treasure and a gang of cut-throat criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want. It has an author in it, too, and some very dodgy-looking meat pies.
And 26 letters, most of them in the correct order.
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