Dear Aunt Debbie,
What an unsettling customer story! I wonder if being in a children's bookstore also brings out the deep immaturity in some people.... I'm glad it ended the way it did, and wish you no one like that in the store this week.
I didn't mean to sound grinchy in my last post -- I love holiday books too, and I do want to hear about the other Christmas Eve titles you read each year. I'll get back to Christmas books on Friday. For now, though, here's another of our favorite alphabets.
A Apple Pie is a British alphabet rhyme from the 1600s, detailing what happens to an apple pie with every letter of the alphabet: "B bit it, C cut it, D dealt it," etc. I grew up with the wonderful Kate Greenaway version, which has just been republished -- lots of girls in empire-waisted dresses and little white caps digging into and playing wholesome-looking games with their pies.
The version we have now is illustrated by Gennady Spirin, and is pleasingly odd. The pie in Spirin's drawings is gigantic: not a normal pie, but one which on some pages much be rappeled down by tiny soldiers and inspected (the letter I, natch) with scientific instruments. Each page is packed with detail: not only the letter and its accompanying sentence and illustration, but also an animal and another food beginning with the same letter. A comes with ants crawling over an apple, for example. It rewards close looking.
And now I'm off to get as close as I do these days to bookstore work by reshelving the many, many books Isabel has thrown to the floor in her tornado-like fashion.