…Michael Rosen, the author of iconic kids book We’re Going On a Bear Hunt, amongst many others, has finally written “the book he has always wanted to write“.
Rosen presents the BBC4 radio show Word of Mouth, and he has used his fascination with English and the alphabet it is written in to craft a really interesting book.
Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story romps from A to Z and has a lot of fun doing so. Rosen begins each of the 26 sections by explaining where each letter came from, how it has evolved over time, cultures and technologies, its shape, both ‘big’ and ‘small’, the pronunciation of its name, the pronunciation of the letter itself and a selection of words you might find it in.
This section is then followed by an essay that takes as its starting point the letter under discussion but then just joyfully follows tangents, investigates seeming dead ends and collects quirky facts, to show how this alphabet has created the world we live in. V. interesting bits about the letters that were in the alphabet which have been discarded are included. A thoughtful and entertaining exploration of something most of us take for granted…