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Operation Alphabet (The Ministry of Letters) Hardcover – 19 Sep 2011
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Beautiful, muted colours and retro illustrations make this book a real pleasure for grown-ups too. --The Daily Telegraph
Charming ... the characters from the book can be utilised in a host of different ways to make children's learning meaningful and exciting. --Creative Review
About the Author
Al MacCuish is the co-founder of Sunshine Ltd, a creative entertainment production company based in London and Los Angeles. His previous books include Operation Alphabet.
Luciano Lozano is a freelance illustrator based in Barcelona.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Ministry of Letters is abosolutely TOP SECRET!!! It's the place where all words are made, and it's based in an old letter box somewhere near ... no, I can't give it away ... you'll have to buy the book to find out where it is! Its exact position is only known to the Queen, The Prime Minister, a few cats ... and readers of the book who are sworn to secrecy! hence the rather vague directions in this review! (We had to close the classroom door once we had read that bit ... just in case!)
Charlie has just started school. He knows a lot about all sorts of things ... but he has a test on the letters of the alphabet coming up ... and he has the dreaded ALPHABET-A-HEEBEGEEBIES! How can this problem be solved? How can the Ministry of Letters help? How does a motor bike chase involving a series of heroic characters help to solve the problem?
Although the presentation, and particularly the illustrations, may appear a little old fashioned, this is a fantastic book - and it kept the class of Year 1 children that I was covering for well and truly engrossed; to the extent that they wanted me to keep going even after the bell and can't wait to hear the rest tomorrow!!!
A fantastic book for 5 to 8 year olds, and well worth adding to a Christmas stocking!
This is a book designed to appeal to middle class parents (of which I am one). Retro in style, about something worthy, such as learning the alphabet, printed on good quality paper and lovely to hold in your hands. Yet beneath that there isn't a great deal to it. The story, whilst having obvious appeal, is slight, and feels forced. The book's educational value is limited; very little space is devoted to the actual alphabet, and the letter rhymes that are present are borderline laughable. The illustrations are very good, very similar in style to Miroslav Sasek's This is...) series of books. But the rather muted washed-out pencil colouring is likely to appeal more to parents than children, isn't it?
Well possibly not. My six year old loved it, proving that I know little about what makes a good children's book. His favourite aspect of the book, is the fact that all of the world's letters live inside a postbox. It has to be said this is a lovely idea; for everything ever written from War and Peace to shopping lists, and even this review, all the letters come from a single postbox, somewhere in London. It's genius. Where I saw poor plot, he saw only adventure, and he loved the anthropomorphised letters.
'Operation Alphabet' is a beautiful book; my concern is that it won't become a perennial favourite. Overall, I do recommend it, but with a caveat; don't order it blind. Make sure you take a look at it first, to decide whether it suits the child you are buying it for.
This is a lovely book; at 60 pages it is good value, but longer than the average picture book. Of course, it depends upon your child, but I would suggest it is best for three years and over. My four year old adored it, but my seven year old also enjoyed reading it to himself. The illustrations are really vibrant and the whole book has a lovely, timeless, feel. The text is fun to read aloud and has lots of tongue in cheek jokes which will appeal to the adult reader. Would make a wonderful gift and a great addition to any bookshelf.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have absolutely nothing to complain about this book. Bought it from World of Books Ltd, and it arrived in brilliant condition (mind you, I bout the 'Used - Very Good' version). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Joy
My grandson loves this book and he looks for all the letters of the alphabet in the very lovely illustrations. I enjoyed reading it too!Published on 16 April 2014 by walsh
Bright, informative, alluring to under fives, this is a nice addition to any child's library. I'd recommend reading in the months before school, or just after starting. Read morePublished on 5 Dec. 2013 by Jim
When I asked my friend what would be a good book for her little girl this was among the list. So even though I haven't seen it (I had it sent directly to her house), I know it's a... Read morePublished on 3 Sept. 2013 by Sophie
Beautifully drawn and printed, in hardback. It's a simple story, but captivating in a dare I say it, boyish way. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2012 by CMB
This book is just fantastic. This story is simple enough; a boy is having trouble learning his alphabet, so who better to help him then the letters themselves? Read morePublished on 28 April 2012 by Josh
My little boy is just about learning to read and has been interested in letters and numbers for quite some time now. Read morePublished on 19 April 2012 by Jimbo
'Charlie Foxtrot has got the alphabet-a-heebiegeebies'!
What a delightful book this is! It is a beautifully presented hardback book that tells the tale of Charlie... Read more