The Magic of Letters

illus. by Wendell Minor. 32p. Holiday House. Apr. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823441594.
PreS-Gr 1—A jaunty rabbit in a top hat guides readers through the world of letters in this enthusiastic new picture book. Letters have great power, readers learn, with the ability to form mighty words. Words can be slippery like trout, or limber like an acrobat. Some letters even form brand-new words, like swinkle! Words can then be strung together to form stories, like, "Carrots love dirt." Accompanied by Minor's mix of loose, light, and lively graphite drawings and colorful collage, Johnston's text adeptly conveys enchantment. While entertaining, the narrative occasionally becomes so whimsical that it begins to lack meaning ("Noodles are quiet but they think deep thoughts") and distract readers from the overall message of the importance of letters and words.
VERDICT A fanciful and enthusiastic romp through Letterville that could spark a love of reading and writing in some children. Best for one-on-one sharing.

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