Every now and then, a new children’s book comes out that blows almost everything else off the shelf.
Operation Alphabet is a brand new story devised by Al MacCuish, creative director at top ad agency Mother.
And it’s a stunner.
It’s all about a top secret government agency (the Ministry of Letters) made up of letter characters, like the dashing Colonel A, who go on an exciting mission to help schoolboy Charlie Foxtrot learn the alphabet.
The book is gorgeously illustrated (by Barcelona artist Luciano Lozano, design by Jim Bletsas, Mother’s head of design ) and the funny, fast-paced tale is packed with adventure including a train-top chase, a parachute descent and even a right old song and dance.
The babes and I were swept away from the opening pages.
Operation Alphabet truly captures the magic of learning to read from early letter recognition to making sense or even making poetry.
The inspiration for the book came to MacCuish when he realised that ‘the alphabet is actually tremendously important to all our daily lives but… the vast majority of us take it for granted. All except children.’ He was struck by the significance of letters and the ‘really fun idea that they might actually be alive.’
Operation Alphabet is also a love letter of sorts to London with much of the action backgrounded by city landmarks and the Ministry of Letters located via a postbox under the shadow of Big Ben.
It’s thrilling to learn that there are more books in the works, an app on the way and a roadshow among other plans for the series.
For a taster, check out the delightful Ministry of Letters web site.
Operation Alphabet is available on Amazon and other good bookstores, retail price £9.95
Visit www.ministryofletters.com for more info