Synopses & Reviews
The acclaimed entertainer and bestselling author Steve Martin and
the wildly clever New Yorker
Roz Chast team up in a weird, wonderful excursion through the alphabet.
The ABCs have never had it so good. Created by two of today's wittiest, most imaginative minds, The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! is a sheer delight from A to Z. In twenty-six alliterative couplets, Steve Martin conjures up much more than mere apples and zebras. Instead we meet Horace the hare, whose hairdo hides hunchbacks, and Ollie the owl, who owed Owen an oboe. Roz Chast contributes the perfect visual settings for Martin's zany two-liners. Her instantly recognizable drawings are packed with humorous touches both broad and subtle.
Each rereading and there will be many delivers new delights and discoveries. There, hidden behind Bad Baby Bubbleducks, is a framed picture of a beatnik holding balloons; and the letter C finds clunky Clarissa all clingy and clueless adrift in a landscape cluttered with images ranging from a curiously comfortable clown to Chuck's Chili stand. A smart, laugh-inducing introduction to the alphabet for young children, The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! will also enchant adults with its matchless mix of the sophisticated and the silly.
"Actor, playwright and novelist Martin (Shopgirl) branches into picture books for this nutty abecedary. No humdrum 'A is for apple' list, this volume faces outrageous, alliterative couplets with full-page cartoons approximating the situations they describe. Known for skewering middle-class anxieties, Chast (Meet My Staff) ably sketches scenes of kitchen mayhem ('Friday when Frank fixed frijoles and French fries/ His fiance Franny was covered in fruit flies') and pictures the main office for Xerxes Xylophones, where a bizarre X-perience unfolds ('Ambidextrous Alex was actually axed/ For waxing, then faxing, his boss's new slacks'). She also supplements the nonsense rhymes with added images of items that start with the highlighted letter (when 'Quincy the kumquat querie[s] the queen,' readers see a bookshelf of tomes on quintuplets, quantum mechanics and quartz). Martin and Chast show their mettle as each other's wacky sidekicks, performing for an all-ages crowd. Adults see two well-known artists at work, creating mind-bending tableaux, while children get a taste of original tongue-twisters. This peculiar and funny book resembles a round of the Surrealists' game of exquisite cadaver or Mad Libs, worked out in a dizzying combination of words and pictures. All ages." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Acclaimed entertainer and bestselling author Steve Martin and cartoonist Roz Chast team up in a weird, wonderful excursion through the alphabet. In 26 alliterative couplets, Martin conjures up much more than mere apples and zebras, as Chast contributes the perfect visual settings for Martins zany two-liners. Full color.
About the Author
Steve MArtin is a celebrated writer, actor, and performer. His film credits include The Jerk
, Father of the Bride,
and The Spanish Prisoner,
as well as Roxanne
, L.A. Story
, and Bowfinger
, for which he also wrote the screenplays. He is the author of the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile
and of the bestselling collection of comic pieces Pure Drivel,
as well as the bestselling novellas The Pleasure of My Company
, which was made into a popular movie. His work appears frequently in The New Yorker
and the New York Times.
He lives in Los Angeles.
Roz Chast's cartoons have been appearing in The New Yorker since 1978. Her work also has appeared in many publications, including Scientific American, Travel & Leisure, the Harvard Business Review as well as many others. She has also published several cartoon collections, illustrated children's books, and designed CD covers, book jackets, and theater posters. Her most recent book is Theories of Everything (Bloomsbury, 2006). She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and currently resides in Connecticut.