Try Saying These Terribly Tricky Tongue Twisters Three Times Fast!

BookendsLynn: What is your family’s favorite tongue twister? “She sells seashells by the seashore,” or “Red baby buggy bumpers are better,” or that old standby, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”? My favorite has always been “Big black bugs shed blue blood.” Try saying that three times really fast!

Amazing alphabetBut now, Robert Pizzo has given me a lot of wonderful new terribly tricky teasers to twist our tongues in his book, The Amazing Animal Alphabet of Twenty-Six Tongue Twisters (2013). Each letter of the alphabet gets a page featuring “one crazy critter colorfully captured in captivating context,” and, of course its own trickily tangled tongue twister. It’s as much fun to gladly gaze at the giddily glamorous gallery as it is to twist one’s tongue twice or thrice. EEKS! I’ve got to stop before I’m in a terminal tangle. I’ll just end by saying “the big brown bull blasts off a badly built bright blue bicycle” is my new favorite!

Cindy: I’m too tired today to try a tongue twister, but trust that I am a tremendous fan of this tome. Let me talk about the illustrations instead. The art has a sophisticated feel, with a color palette and graphic arts design that is rare in children’s books. Young children will enjoy looking at all of the details but there’s sly fun for the adults reading the book with them. Middle- or high-school art classes could use this as a springboard for design projects or their own book. The “Rowdy rauncy red rooster rally rocks ’round the clock” page features a “Roosterbacker” brand electric-guitar-playing rooster, and the “Stinky skunk in smelly sneakers shows off on a skateboard” features a skunk riding a skateboard with a black and red skull design. Adults may recognize Robert Pizzo from his work designing Infographics.

I might have given you  a sample view of one of the pages from this book, but then I saw the hairy warning from Pizzo:

To Honest, Ethical Creatives: “I don’t frown on comping. In fact, use my images in ALL of your presentations, then call me!”

To Dishonest, Unethical Creatives: Unauthorized use of images will result in a long and costly legal battle which you will lose. Then, you’ll end up in the gutter.

I didn’t want to chance it, but you can see samples here without me risking ending up in a gutter. You can also check out his Infographics at the site. Lynn stumbled across the Pomegranate publisher booth at ALA Midwinter and then dragged me back there to see their beautiful books. This one has me wanting more.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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