I’m a fan of Chris Van Allsburg’s work, particularly of The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. I save most of his books for my older students, so finding a book that my younger students can enjoy is great. As always, there are incredible black and white illustrations and just a touch of dark humor in the book. This is definitely a different kind of alphabet book. 😉
In the Z was Zapped, the entire alphabet, presented in “a play in 26 acts”, meets its demise on stage. “The A was in an avalanche. The B was badly bitten. The C was cut to ribbons…” It’s fun watching my students guess at how each letter meets its end. This was perfect for my 1st graders.
This book combines wonderful black and white drawings with an element of magic that really works for older students, because there is just enough mystery to leave listeners wondering what really happened. I love to read it to third graders.
Synopsis: Miss Hester owns a naughty dog named Fritz. Alan is watching Fritz while Miss Hester is gone. When Alan takes Fritz for a walk, Fritz tugs the leash and runs away – straight into the garden of Abdul Gasazi, a retired magician. Unfortunately, Mr. Gasazi’s garden is clearly marked with a sign that says ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO DOGS ALLOWED. When Alan meets Mr. Gasazi, he politely asks for Fritz back but is dismayed to learn that Abdul Gasazi turns naughty, straying dogs into ducks. Convinced that Fritz is now a duck, Alan returns to Miss Hester’s house, only to find Fritz safely at home.