An Annoying ABC
When a whole class goes gorilla, they learn the importance of balancing passion and creativity with cooperation in this charmer of a picture book from the New York Times bestselling duo, Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley.
The day Priscilla gets a book about gorillas, she instantly becomes obsessed. She dances like them, eats like them, and wears her gorilla costume 24–7! There are so many things to love about gorillas, but what Priscilla loves best is how they seem to always get their way.
So when Mr. Todd tells all his students to dress up like their favorite animal, Priscilla’s choice is obvious. But dancing around and beating her chest when it’s not her turn sends Priscilla straight to the Thinking Corner. She is of course outraged—nobody tells a gorilla what to do!—and as her attitude spreads, soon the thinking corner is full of her classmates. Is Priscilla really channeling her inner gorilla, or is she just a troublemaker in ape’s clothing?
AN ANNOYING ABC
So begins a rollicking preschool/early-elementary romp featuring kids who appear in alphabetical order with a corresponding action as Adelaide sets off a domino effect. “Bailey blamed Clyde. / Clyde cried. / Dexter drooled on Eloise. / Eloise elbowed Flora. / Flora fumed.” The pandemonium that ensues is a clever visual narrative loaded with details, such as the gerbil-escape subplot. The hilarity lies in the illustrations, typical Emberley style, done in mechanical pencil and watercolors. Children (and Miss Mabel, the teacher) in the alphabetical spotlight are rendered in full color, while the other characters are in black and white against colored backgrounds. The kids sport a variety of skin colors, hairdos and clothing, with one girl (Ida) in a wheelchair. How does the mayhem resolve? When Zelda zaps Adelaide with the water hose, Adelaide, as instigator, apologizes, and so does everyone else. For the trickier letters, Q is Quentin; X is Xavier; Y is Yves. One read-through will simply not be enough to enjoy all the fun. This would make a splendid project for a classroom to make up their own alphabetical list of names.