Take Away the A

Take Away the A


Written by Michaël Escoffier
llustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

A New York Times Editors' Choice of 2014

Take Away the A is a fun, imaginative romp through the alphabet. The idea behind the book is that within every language there are words that change and become a different word through the simple subtraction of a single letter. In other words, without the "A," the Beast is Best. Or, without the "M," a chomp becomes a chop—though it could be that this particular play on words didn't even make it into the book, there are so many! We certainly don't want to give too much away.

Now, take a look and find some more!

ISBN: 978-1-59270-156-8
8.2" (W) x 12.8" (H) • 56 pages • HCJ

Grade Level: 1
Interest Level: PreK-5
Lexile Level: 200
Guided Reading Level: J

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A New York Times Editors' Choice of 2014
A Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2014

A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2014

★ "Just when it feels like there's nothing new under the abecedarian sun, Escoffier and Di Giacomo, the team behind Brief Thief and other titles, showcase the magic of subtraction as it relates to letters, revealing how removing a single letter from a word transforms it into something else entirely. … Beyond the inherent fun of the concept (which has plenty of potential for classroom activities), every scene tells a story—it's practically 26 books in one." —STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

★ “Amid the flood of alphabet books, now and then one rises to the surface. This one is a prize catch […] Without a doubt, these inventive images are imaginative and engaging—chock full of inspiration for kids to try their own wordplay and a boon to teachers.” —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"...everything about this attractive book warmly addresses a child. Di Giacomo’s palimpsest-like illustrations featuring appealing animal protagonists are their own reward. A little white rat threads its way through, its tiny reaction shots standing in for the child reader’s. Wolves, witches, a fiddling cat and seven dwarves dance across the pages, gesturing to the wealth of children’s literature beyond the ABCs. [...] All alphabet books require mastery of the letters in order to read them, but this one manages that paradox with genius." —The New York Times

“Engaging from page one and smart as a whip, the team who brought Brief Thief to the world takes on an old standard and creates something delightfully fresh...what I appreciate most about this book is that it adds a layer of complexity to a children’s lit staple while remaining a squarely for kids. […] An alphabet book that isn't satisfied just covering the ABC's, Take Away the A has substantial classroom appeal as well. It's something new under the sun." —Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes

"What emerges is a playful celebration of language not as a dry, mathematical exercise in letter-organization but as a living organism, in which letters make meaning through a vast mesh of metaphorical associations driven by the imagination—the very faculty that is the hallmark of children's minds." —Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

“Beyond all this fun, we’ve also got subtle, essential, vital reminders about the creative power of language. Learn your letters, shift them at will, and you’ve got the unlimited ability to express anything and everything […] With his Stateside debut, Escoffier is delightedly, demonstrating his power over language, or rather languages. We should all cultivate such superpowers!” —The Smithsonian Book Dragon

“…a creative sophisticated twist on the traditional alphabet book . . . text and art play effortlessly off each other to enhance humor and meaning.” —The Horn Book

“You will want this book. I guarantee it. Best. Alphabet Book. Ever.” —Mary Lee Hahn, A Year of Reading

Take Away the A has fun with the way a word can be transformed by the removal of a single letter. Droll, delicate, slightly dis tempered illustrations by Kris Di Giacomo add humor to this alphabetical caper. This literary treat for 4- to 8-year-olds will have children yanking letters out of words for fun in no time.” —Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

Kids will have fun coming up with, and illustrating, reductive examples of their own. Inspired and instructive silliness.” —Luann Toth, School Library Journal


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