Blue Sky Press (AZ), Hardcover, 9780439853163, 40pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Engaging alphabet books are perennial bestsellers with unlimited demand, and so are books about fire trucks. This splendid book is a surefire winner! As in their previous collaborations, the Woods bring lowercase letters to life in a fun adventure that is sure to have children learning their alphabet without even realizing they are studying. In this action-packed adventure, we witness the lowercase letters as they save the day and the uppercase letters. Riding in a fire truck they fixed themselves, these lowercase letters become heroes with firehoses!
As a fifth-generation professional artist, I grew up with art all around me - in the studios of my parents and grandparents. I have always been very interested in art - it always seemed like a lot of fun.
One of the major advantages of growing up in a family of artists is the support you receive while learning your art form. It was also a unique experience. One year for my birthday, my parents made me a kid-sized cardboard castle out of refrigerator boxes in our backyard. It took me a few years to realize that not all my friends' parents were as creative as mine.
My initial interest in digital art came about at a young age. I started using Commodore 64's when I was eleven or twelve, and by age thirteen, I could do basic programming. Since then, I was always interested in how companies made computer games, and I think that's what ultimately led me to 3-D design.
In 1991, I attended the California Institute of the Arts, where I studied drama and advanced my interest in art created on the computer. Then, in 1993, I decided to enroll in the innovative San Francisco State Multimedia Center, where I pursued my long-standing interest in designing computer programs by studying animation and 3-D modeling.
This year I joined my family's creative team and illustrated my first book, The Christmas Adventure of Space Elf Sam. The book took me over two years to make, and it was a true family collaboration. My mom wrote the story and my dad, Don Wood, functioned as art director.
I love telling stories with my art, and picture books are just that. And of course, I love seeing the face of a young child, sitting on a bookstore floor, completely immersed in a book that I have created.
Aside from being a children's book illustrator, I also surf, snowboard, and sail, which means that I do get to see the sun sometimes.
In the newest installment of Audrey and Bruce Wood's alphabet series, Charley goes to visit his grandparents for the summer, and his lowercase letters go on vacation to Alphabet City, the place where they were born. There, the lowercase letters are excited to see a new fire truckuntil they are told that they are too small to use it. Wandering around, they find an abandoned fire truck, clean off the m-u-d themselves and proceed to save a c-a-t from a tree. Suddenly, the factory where all letters are made catches fire, and the capital letters' truck's tire blows out. It's up to the lowercase letters to save the day and work together with the capital letters to squelch the flamesand return home in time to help Charley write a thank-you note to his grandparents. While the plot is a trifle thin, the hyper-realistic artwork, the bright colors, the spelling puzzles and the inventive use of letters within the text will no doubt appeal to children just becoming familiar with their ABCs. (Picture book. 3-5)
PreS-Gr 1When Charley leaves to visit his grandparents for summer vacation, his lowercase alphabet letters travel on a pencil to their hometown of Alphabet City. The little letters' adventures include fixing up an old fire engine, cleaning M-u-d from a car, rescuing a C-a-t from a tree, and saving the day when the capital letters' fire engine spins out of control and cannot get to the fire at the letter-making factory. Readers will enjoy this sweet story and have fun identifying letters in the text and illustrations. As in the Woods' Alphabet Adventure (2001) and Alphabet Mystery (2003, both Scholastic), the pages are filled with 3-D-style digital artwork, creating a self-contained alphabet world.Marilyn Ackerman, Brooklyn Public Library, NY