Al Pha’s Bet is a clever and unique way to teach the alphabet, with a heavy helping of humor. The main character is a gent named Al Pha. When the King wants to organize the newly invented letters into an organized format, Al makes a bet with himself that he can find a way. Amy Krouse Rosenthal and their characteristic humor splashes onto each page pushing you along to learn one possible reason how those 26 letters got into that wild and crazy order.
And the story is delightful. It works for older children (ages five to seven) and would be a good story to have in the classroom to compliment learning the alphabet. The older end (7 to 8-years-old) could start reading on their own. The only issue is some of the puns might be a bit over the head of most young kids. Therefore, this is a fun together read.
Where things are not what I was hoping for, are the illustrations. Delphine Durand, like all artists, took the time to put their best foot forward and did their best. And for some, these goofy characters and bold, bright colors will be the perfect match. But Al himself, with his resemblance to Peppa Pig, and the King’s sharp odd-looking teeth, or the pink cat was not what I was expecting or hoping. It is as if the 1970’s Land of the Lost went on a major acid trip. And if you know the show, you know it was already on a trip!
With that said, due to the fresh way that the alphabet is presented, this is a fun book to add to your library (personal or school).