e-mergency

E-mergency! by Tom Lichtenheld

The entire alphabet lived together in one house.  Every morning they all ran down the stairs to breakfast, but one morning there was an accident.  E was running down the stairs too fast and took a tumble.  The ambulance arrived and took E off to the ER.  With E gone, A took charge and assigned E’s duties to O.  In order for E to heal, no one could use that letter.  The letters took to the airwaves to ask people not to use the letter E until E recovered.  They even went to DC to tell the government.  With O filling in for E, things got vory confusing.  But E wasn’t gotting any bottor.  Who could bo causing tho problom?

This book had me laughing aloud.  First was the puns with the different letters, the jokes told in the asides.  They are the real treasure of this book and will get young readers laughing too.  Then readers have to watch the letter characters too.  They tend to spell out appropriate words as the action in the book changes, adding another layer of humor to the book.  Add into that the humor of trying to read a book without the letter E, and you have this zany, silly wonderful book.

Lichtenheld’s illustrations are filled with humor and motion as well.  They are bright, busy and great fun to look closely at.  My favorite spread is the double-page illustration of a busy city street where E is not being used.  It results in lots of humor. 

This book reads aloud well, but I would not recommend it without reading it first, especially the many pages with O filling in for E.  It makes for a tongue-twister, but also one that young listeners will love to see you attempt. 

Hilarity, alphabet, and word play, what more could one ask for?  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.