“… a wonderfully clever and ultimately triumphant journey of self-discovery for this spunky little character. … You'd never think you would root so hard for a lowercase vowel. But you will…. Little i may be a mere cutout letter, but his humanity shines through.”
The Horn Book (starred review)
A cross between a quest story and a concept book, Hall’s (Red: A Crayon’s Story, rev. 1/15) latest picture book launches when Little i’s dot falls off and into the sea. Little i boards a boat appropriately shaped like a question mark and sets off to find its dot. Our protagonist lands on an island full of wonders (and punctuation), including a waterfall shaped from exclamation points (“It was exciting! Spectacular! Magnificent!”) and a garden of commas (“Little i paused, paused, and paused again, to admire each one”). Little i searches everywhere and finally finds its dot…functioning as a period at the end of the island. As with any good quest, the main character has grown and changed along the way. Its old dot no longer fits; our hero is Big I now, and can stand on its very own, even as a word. Bright digitally compiled collages composed of painted and cut paper create dramatic backgrounds, and the expressions of and movement among the letters give them energy and personality (e.g., the alphabet characters speak by lining up next to one another to form words: “‘strange,’ said s, t, r, a, n, g, and e”). The roles of symbols and letters in the English language beautifully become part of the story’s action, and a map in the back explains the punctuation on the island.
“A playful exploration of language and punctuation with expressive alphabet characters, an exciting journey, and a triumphant ending…. Bright, chunky, and delicately textured cut-paper and collage illustrations fill each page of this story to the brim with color and movement…. An inventive and well-executed story and design make this an excellent choice for young storytimes and a strong selection for most collections.”
“This lighthearted adventure starring the lowercase i portrays the letters of the alphabet with human characteristics. …The brief text and uncomplicated plot make this manageable for those just learning the alphabet, while the sly humor will appeal to those a bit older. …awesome!”
“… An inventive alphabet book for the perceptive reader.”