Ellsworth’s Extraordinary Electric Ears and other Amazing Alphabet Anecdotes


Written and Illustrated by Valorie Fisher

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2003


Trust Trevor to tell you, typing on a trapeze was terribly tricky.

The alphabet theme:  Photographs of miniature toys, people and animals with alliterative descriptions

You have to admit - this is indeed a well balanced breakfast.

You have to admit – this is indeed a well balanced breakfast.

This wacky book is just good fun.  There’s something oddly compelling about these pictures, and the alliteration and word choice make each picture’s story entertaining as well.  Every picture has a myriad of objects representing the featured letter and if you think you’ve found them all, you can check out the list in the back of the book to make sure. 

Valorie Fisher has created a fantastic world in these photographs and they have cross-generational appeal.  I particularly like the shapes that are drawn and cutout, as they add a quirky two-dimensional element into the three-dimensional landscape.  There are definitely opportunities in this books to learn new words, as well, and I am always a fan of that.

The X Factor:  We’ve got a little bit of everything here – a name (Xanthia), a customary word (x-ray) and a couple of words with bonus X’s in the middle (explained and exuberance).  There are extra X words in the picture, too.  Bonus points, ma’am!


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