The Dangerous Alphabet

written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Gris Grimly

A very different ABC book; a piratical ghost story featuring 2 brave children, their pet gazelle, and many trolls, monsters, and other creatures of much nastiness.

Thirteen rhyming couplets spin the story of two siblings and their pet gazelle who follow a stream into a mysterious underworld to search for a treasure. Skillful narrative and visual storytelling combine to present a complex adventure that unravels through multilayered text and illustrations. When the sister is tempted ashore by villains holding candy and is captured, her brother follows in hot pursuit, rushing through a labyrinth realm filled with pirates, monsters, trolls, and other fearsome creatures.

The gothic illustrations, done in sepia tones and faded color washes, ensure that readers remain riveted throughout the story, since there are spine-chilling details at every turn. Images of objects beginning with the letter featured on the page add to the fun. If you look closely at the pages for Pp, for example, some things you may find include a pig, pan, pocket, pufferfish, pillow, and portcullis.

G "is for good, as in hero, and morning;"
P "is for piracy, blunt or discreet;"
X "marked the spot, if we read the map right;"