The Hidden Alphabet

Author(s): Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Picture Books

Open this unusual book and you'll be greeted by a striking image of an arrowhead, surrounded by a simple black frame. Lift the frame and the arrowhead will be magically transformed into the letter A. And so it goes, from Balloons, Cloud, and Door, through Leaf and Mice, to Yolk and Zipper. Bold distinctive images and a simple yet ingenious format make this a concept book, and a gift book, to treasure.


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"It's simple and elegant, and makes perfect sense for preliterate persons."--"Wall Street Journal" Publishers Weekly Starred Review Seeger, the niece of folksinger Pete Seeger, has devised an artful lift-the-flap ABC. From A to Z, labeled die-cut openings in glossy black paper purport to show an "arrowhead," "balloons," a "cloud" and a "door." When readers peek beneath the paper frames, however, they discover a letter of the alphabet. What look like two horizontal white "eggs" on a gingham napkin are also the indentations in a letter E. Two parallel "nails," tilting on a diagonal, turn out to be the slanted angles of the capital N. A plump white "quotation mark" against a red background doubles as the oval center of a Q. And the curvaceous hollow body of a "ukelele" forms the dip in the letter U. Seeger inverts positive and negative space in her paintings, whose warm colors glow from the windows in the light-absorbing black paper; she even incorporates die-cuts into the dust jacket.

Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a "New York Times" best-selling author and illustrator and the recipient of a 2008 Caldecott Honor, Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors for both 2009 and 2008, a 2007 "New York Times" Best Illustrated Book Award, and the 2007 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book. Her books include "First the Egg" and "Dog and Bear," among others. Raised on Long Island, New York, Seeger began drawing at two years old and never stopped. For as long as she remembers, she wanted to write picture books. She received her B.F.A. degree at the School of Fine Art and Design at SUNY Purchase in Westchester, New York, and then moved to Manhattan, where she worked as an animator, artist, and editor in the network television business.Seeger lives in Rockville Centre, Long Island, with her husband, Chris, their two sons, Drew and Dylan, and their dog, Copper. She loves painting, surfing, tennis, playing the piano, and spending time with her family. She takes long walks at the beach every day and paints in her studio every night."

General Fields

  • : 9781596436374
  • : Roaring Brook Press
  • : Roaring Brook Press
  • : November 2010
  • : 225mm X 208mm X 24mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • : BB
  • : 1
  • : Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • : 428.1
  • : 32
  • : illustrations