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FICTION

Every Little Letter

Dial. Aug. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525554028.
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K-Gr 3–Each letter of the alphabet, personified with a face, is depicted surrounded by a wall in a city where they never intermingle: “The H’s had built the walls around their city long ago to protect themselves.” That all changes when an intrepid lowercase h finds a gap in the wall and meets a lowercase i. As their hands join, the pair makes “something extraordinary.” Color bursts from the following full-page spread with the two letters jumping for joy as a speech bubble features “hi.” The H seals up the wall again and as the small h misses her new friend, she sends paper airplane messages over the wall. Soon, an airplane goes astray and lands within another letter’s walls and there is much intermingling. There is subtle humor such as the x meeting the o, improving games of tic-tac-toe. When the h looks at the letters d and n upside down, or up, the lowercase letters meet up on top of the walls to form the word together and begin to break down the walls for good. Soon, there is courage, kindness, and then loveThe pen-and-ink drawings feature black outlines and soft organic colors; the letter characters are adorable.
VERDICT Unity and division are themes rich for exploration in this story of alphabet letters separated by fear and complacency. It will grow upon children and adults with each reading.

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