Title: The Dangerous Alphabet
Author: Neil Gaiman
Artist: Gris Grimly
Genre: Horror / Adventure / Fantasy / Alternate World
Year Published: 2008
Year Read: 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Content Rating: Ages 7+ (Some Scary Imagery and Perilous Situations)
Now, I have read many of Neil Gaiman’s books and I usually loved his adult and young adult fantasy novels since they are so full of excitement! So it is rare that I read any of Neil Gaiman’s children’s books and I just happened to stumble upon his children’s book “The Dangerous Alphabet” along with illustrations by Gris Grimly!
The story starts out with two children and their cute pet gazelle sneaking past their father and going to a world that is located beneath the surface. It was here that the two children ended up meeting a group of monsters and pirates, who then ended up kidnapping the girl and taking her to their lair where they plan to eat her.
Can the boy and their pet gazelle save the girl from the pirates and monsters?
Read this book to find out!
What I always loved about Neil Gaiman’s books is that they are so imaginative and you actually feel like you are living in the worlds that he has woven for the readers. “The Dangerous Alphabet” is no exception as this is clearly the most imaginative children’s book about the alphabet that I had ever read! I loved the fact that Neil Gaiman presented the alphabet in a more narrative tone rather than just stating some random objects that happened to start with whatever letters they are representing. It made the story more creative and interesting to read and I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat trying to see if the boy and the gazelle would rescue the girl in time. Gris Grimly’s artwork is delightfully creepy and fits well with the horrific and intense tone of this story. I loved seeing the creepy creatures that pop up in the background such as seeing a dead rat floating in the river and some other children getting kidnapped as it gives the situation an intense and chaotic feel. I also liked the fact that Gris Grimly drew the children’s pet gazelle as being adorably cute as the gazelle contrasts strongly with the grim artwork of the book.
Parents should know that Gris Grimly’s artwork might be a bit creepy for some children as there are images of monsters and pirates terrorizing the two children and their pet gazelle throughout the whole story. Some of the creepy images that might stand out for some children are the images of the dead rat floating in the moat and of the children being chained up by the pirates and monsters. These images might be unsettling for not only children, but also for parents who do not want to see children chained up.
Overall, “The Dangerous Alphabet” is a fantastic book that is full of dark moments and imagery that any child who enjoys a good horror story would easily enjoy! I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since the disturbing imagery and intense storyline might be scary for some children.