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AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went First
Written by Alethea Kontis
Illustrated by Bob Kolar

It's backwards! It's inside out! It's every letter for itself! This laugh-out-loud romp is not your average alphabet book!

Z is tired of always having to be last when the alphabet family lines up. He is demanding fair and equal treatment! The letters (more or less) agree to go backwards, but it's not long before P has some ideas of his own. And so does H, for that matter. In fact, it seems as if almost every letter has a different opinion about how the alphabet should be arranged. It's chaos! It's pandemonium! And it's definitely not as easy as A-B-C! Filled with visually humorous details, Bob Kolar's colorful illustrations are the perfect foil for Alethea Kontis's snappy story about the comic confusion that comes when the letters of the alphabet, like a class of unruly children, step out of order and show that each one has a mind of its own.

What people are saying about AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went First

"The bright, colorful artwork is as playful and anarchic as the text, packed with countless sight gags and fascinating details -- just the kind of thing little kids can really dig into. Easily one of the best children's books of the decade."
—Joe Sixpack,

"The most imaginative alphabet book since Chris Van Allsburg's The Z Was Zapped."
Elizabeth Ward, The Washington Post

"An alphabet book with attitude."

"Making chaos from order may sound like a recipe for disaster, but it also cooks up some entertaining storytelling. This tale of a scrambled alphabet leads a list of ABC books."
—Publishers Weekly

"Plenty of details to absorb, colorful images to grab the eye, and a confused letter template running below the action create alphabet antics for early readers. A fun addition."
—School Library Journal

"Hysterical...a must for preschool and elementary classrooms."

"The old order must fall! X, Y, and Z's of the world, rise up and demand your day in the sun! Viva la revolution!"
James Maxey, Author of Nobody Gets the Girl and Bitterwood

"Sales of other alphabet books will plummet when preschoolers get word of this book."
—Cathy Canavan, Delaware News Journal

"An ode to organization that will appeal to the obsessive-compulsiveness in all of us."
—Brandy Hilboldt Allport, Morris News Service

"Perfectly written and illustrated for maximum appeal."
Bank Street Books

"Z mean!"
—Lindsey Sizemore, age 2 (Lexington, KY)

"As a paean to unpredictability, this book is a charmer. You don't want to use it to learn the alphabet, or your child's future as a file clerk will be severely limited."
Orson Scott Card

"Presented in very good humor by Kontis and Kolar, [AlphaOops'] principal point about language applies pretty much to life itself."
Nicholas A. Basbanes

"What a wonderful book! Kontis does a beautiful job of describing each letter as a unique individual who functions within the wild and wonderous Alphabet "family." The writing is clever and charming, and the story will keep children (and parents) giggling from beginning to end. Indeed, AlphaOops is sure to both teach and delight."
— Dr. Casey Cothran, Professor of English and member of Charlotte Mommies (Charlotte, NC)

"Children will be happy to relate to the correct order of the alphabet if they can stop laughing." 
Valerie at Blue Willow Bookshop

"It's my new favorite book, AlphabetOops!"
—Ethan Lee, age 4 (Nashville, TN)

“[AlphaOops] is now on my list of all-time favorites. I can’t wait to read it to my students this fall.”
—Barbara Edwards, Kindergarten teacher and Executive Director of CRIBS (Fort Belvoir, VA)

“No one likes being last all the time. With AlphaOops, Alethea has scored one for the little guy.”
—Kristi Gillis (Nashville, TN)

“Thousands of dollars for chemistry degree and what has Dad got to show for it? An alphabet book that doesn’t even go from A to Z!”
—Alethea’s Dad

“From my crazy, mixed up child comes a crazy, mixed up alphabet.” 
—Alethea’s Mom


  AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went First. Text Copyright © 2006 Alethea Kontis. Illustrations Copyright © 2006 Bob Kolar.
To be published in Fall 2006 by Candlewick Press, Inc.