{"id":1867313857,"title":"Ox, House, Stick","handle":"ox-house-stick","description":"\u003cb\u003e\u003cspan size=\"4\" style=\"font-size: large;\"\u003eOx, House, Stick\u003c\/span\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\u003cspan size=\"3\" style=\"font-size: medium;\"\u003eThe History of Our Alphabet\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/b\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca href=\"\/pages\/don-robb\"\u003eDon Robb\u003c\/a\u003e \/ Illustrated by: \u003ca href=\"\/pages\/anne-smith\"\u003eAnne Smith\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003eA is for Ox?\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCan you read these words? You have the ancient Sinaitic people to thank—and your reading teacher. Our modern alphabet got its start about four thousand years ago in the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. But the story isn’t that simple. Through commerce and conquest, the alphabet grew and changed over thousands of years. Some letters flipped upsidedown. Some became rounder, while others got pointier. One letter was even kicked out of the alphabet—but then was let back in. Don Robb explains in clear, concise written language with letters that we all recognize (and a few we don’t) how our alphabet came into being. Letter by letter, young readers can trace the origins of the alphabet from its Sinaitic, Phoenician, Greek, and Roman beginnings. Bold, expressive collages illustrate the unique evolution of the alphabet and humankind’s need to communicate news and stories in writing.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge-books.com\/previews\/ox-house-stick\/OxHouseStick_preview1.html\" target=\"new\"\u003eRead an excerpt\u003c\/a\u003e!\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/akira-to-zoltan-twenty-six-men-who-changed-the-world\" title=\"Akira to Zoltan\"\u003eAkira to Zoltan\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/walden-then-now\" title=\"Walden Then \u0026amp; Now\"\u003eWalden Then \u0026amp; Now\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eLook Inside\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg class=\"cvr-border-gray\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/ox-house-stick-spread.jpg?10809508331656672877\"\u003e\u003c!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --\u003e\n\u003cscript type=\"text\/javascript\" async=\"\" defer data-pin-shape=\"round\" data-pin-height=\"32\" data-pin-hover=\"true\" src=\"\/\/assets.pinterest.com\/js\/pinit.js\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eDon Robb, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDon Robb is the author of \u003cem\u003eThis Is America\u003c\/em\u003e and \u003cem\u003eHail to the Chief: The American Presidency\u003c\/em\u003e. He lives in Andover, Massachusetts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca title=\"Don Robb's Bio\" href=\"\/pages\/don-robb\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Don Robb.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - ENTER ILLUSTRATOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eAnne Smith, illustrator\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAnne Smith is a graphic artist and illustrator. This is her first book for children. She lives in England.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca title=\"Don Robb's Bio\" href=\"\/pages\/anne-smith\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Anne Smith.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA Junior Library Guild Selection, Premier Selection\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eChildren's Book of the Month Club, Alternate Selection\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eChicago Public Library's Best of the Best Book\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eNCTE Orbis Pictus Award, shortlist\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe White Ravens (International Youth Library)\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Horn Book Magazine\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOur alphabet has evolved over four thousand years, with one culture after another borrowing and reshaping symbols to their needs. Robb traces\u003cstrong\u003e \u003c\/strong\u003ethe transformations of each letter through their Sinaitic, Phoenician, early and classical Greek, and Roman forms, grouping those (like \u003cem\u003eC\u003c\/em\u003e \u003cstrong\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003eand \u003cem\u003eG\u003c\/em\u003e) whose histories were intertwined and tucking in lots of other fascinating lore. The Romans used \u003cem\u003eV\u003c\/em\u003e instead of \u003cem\u003eU\u003c\/em\u003e because it's easier to carve in stone (our usage of both letters dates only to the 1700s); they \u003cstrong\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003einvented serifs for neatness in the same medium. The Phoenician forerunner of \u003cem\u003eH\u003c\/em\u003e was a consonant, but the Greeks used it, later, as a vowel. The Romans referred to letters as elements (\u003cem\u003eelementa\u003c\/em\u003e), possibly from the L-M-N sequence.\" Pleasantly open spreads accommodate basic information in a Roman face, ancillary information in sans serif, plus an abundance of illustrative details—letters in their various forms, objects that inspired them (see titles), artifacts, and details of ancient settings. An excellent first resource, skillfully organized to introduce the subject and inspire interest. A summary chart of letter origins and a list of resources (websites plus books for children and adults) are appended. -J.R.L.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/ox-house-stick-cvr.jpg?v=1439828921\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/ox-house-stick-hires.zip?12150546440452842453\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/ox-house-stick-activity-guide.pdf?4512903798686760336\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Activity Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePaperback\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-57091-610-6\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-57091-609-0\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eE-book PDF\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-60734-049-2\u003cbr\u003e For information about purchasing E-books, \u003ca title=\"E-book\" href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge.myshopify.com\/pages\/e-books\"\u003eclick here\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 8-11\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 48\u003cbr\u003e8 \u003csup\u003e1\u003c\/sup\u003e\/\u003csub\u003e2\u003c\/sub\u003e x 11\u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]","published_at":"2015-09-14T14:19:00-04:00","created_at":"2015-08-17T12:27:11-04:00","vendor":"Charlesbridge","type":"Children's Book","tags":["Browse by Age_Ages 6-10","Browse by Age_Middle Grade","Browse by Fiction\/Nonfiction_Nonfiction","Browse by Language_English","Browse by Subject_Alphabet Books","Browse by Subject_History \u0026 Biography"],"price":795,"price_min":795,"price_max":1695,"available":true,"price_varies":true,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":5800222721,"title":"Paperback","option1":"Paperback","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"16106","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":false,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"Ox, House, Stick - Paperback","public_title":"Paperback","options":["Paperback"],"price":795,"weight":255,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_quantity":9,"inventory_management":"shopify","inventory_policy":"continue","barcode":"978-1-57091-610-6","requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_allocations":[]},{"id":6568474241,"title":"Hardcover","option1":"Hardcover","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"16090","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":false,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"Ox, House, Stick - Hardcover","public_title":"Hardcover","options":["Hardcover"],"price":1695,"weight":510,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_quantity":9,"inventory_management":"shopify","inventory_policy":"continue","barcode":"978-1-57091-609-0","requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_allocations":[]}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/ox-house-stick-cover.jpg?v=1586800798"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/ox-house-stick-cover.jpg?v=1586800798","options":["Title"],"media":[{"alt":"Ox, House, Stick book cover","id":2481656070223,"position":1,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":0.792,"height":758,"width":600,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/ox-house-stick-cover.jpg?v=1570537527"},"aspect_ratio":0.792,"height":758,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/ox-house-stick-cover.jpg?v=1570537527","width":600}],"requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_groups":[],"content":"\u003cb\u003e\u003cspan size=\"4\" style=\"font-size: large;\"\u003eOx, House, Stick\u003c\/span\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\u003cspan size=\"3\" style=\"font-size: medium;\"\u003eThe History of Our Alphabet\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/b\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca href=\"\/pages\/don-robb\"\u003eDon Robb\u003c\/a\u003e \/ Illustrated by: \u003ca href=\"\/pages\/anne-smith\"\u003eAnne Smith\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003eA is for Ox?\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCan you read these words? You have the ancient Sinaitic people to thank—and your reading teacher. Our modern alphabet got its start about four thousand years ago in the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. But the story isn’t that simple. Through commerce and conquest, the alphabet grew and changed over thousands of years. Some letters flipped upsidedown. Some became rounder, while others got pointier. One letter was even kicked out of the alphabet—but then was let back in. Don Robb explains in clear, concise written language with letters that we all recognize (and a few we don’t) how our alphabet came into being. Letter by letter, young readers can trace the origins of the alphabet from its Sinaitic, Phoenician, Greek, and Roman beginnings. Bold, expressive collages illustrate the unique evolution of the alphabet and humankind’s need to communicate news and stories in writing.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge-books.com\/previews\/ox-house-stick\/OxHouseStick_preview1.html\" target=\"new\"\u003eRead an excerpt\u003c\/a\u003e!\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/akira-to-zoltan-twenty-six-men-who-changed-the-world\" title=\"Akira to Zoltan\"\u003eAkira to Zoltan\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/walden-then-now\" title=\"Walden Then \u0026amp; Now\"\u003eWalden Then \u0026amp; Now\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eLook Inside\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg class=\"cvr-border-gray\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/ox-house-stick-spread.jpg?10809508331656672877\"\u003e\u003c!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --\u003e\n\u003cscript type=\"text\/javascript\" async=\"\" defer data-pin-shape=\"round\" data-pin-height=\"32\" data-pin-hover=\"true\" src=\"\/\/assets.pinterest.com\/js\/pinit.js\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eDon Robb, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDon Robb is the author of \u003cem\u003eThis Is America\u003c\/em\u003e and \u003cem\u003eHail to the Chief: The American Presidency\u003c\/em\u003e. He lives in Andover, Massachusetts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca title=\"Don Robb's Bio\" href=\"\/pages\/don-robb\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Don Robb.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - ENTER ILLUSTRATOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eAnne Smith, illustrator\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAnne Smith is a graphic artist and illustrator. This is her first book for children. She lives in England.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca title=\"Don Robb's Bio\" href=\"\/pages\/anne-smith\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Anne Smith.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA Junior Library Guild Selection, Premier Selection\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eChildren's Book of the Month Club, Alternate Selection\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eChicago Public Library's Best of the Best Book\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eNCTE Orbis Pictus Award, shortlist\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe White Ravens (International Youth Library)\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Horn Book Magazine\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOur alphabet has evolved over four thousand years, with one culture after another borrowing and reshaping symbols to their needs. Robb traces\u003cstrong\u003e \u003c\/strong\u003ethe transformations of each letter through their Sinaitic, Phoenician, early and classical Greek, and Roman forms, grouping those (like \u003cem\u003eC\u003c\/em\u003e \u003cstrong\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003eand \u003cem\u003eG\u003c\/em\u003e) whose histories were intertwined and tucking in lots of other fascinating lore. The Romans used \u003cem\u003eV\u003c\/em\u003e instead of \u003cem\u003eU\u003c\/em\u003e because it's easier to carve in stone (our usage of both letters dates only to the 1700s); they \u003cstrong\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003einvented serifs for neatness in the same medium. The Phoenician forerunner of \u003cem\u003eH\u003c\/em\u003e was a consonant, but the Greeks used it, later, as a vowel. The Romans referred to letters as elements (\u003cem\u003eelementa\u003c\/em\u003e), possibly from the L-M-N sequence.\" Pleasantly open spreads accommodate basic information in a Roman face, ancillary information in sans serif, plus an abundance of illustrative details—letters in their various forms, objects that inspired them (see titles), artifacts, and details of ancient settings. An excellent first resource, skillfully organized to introduce the subject and inspire interest. A summary chart of letter origins and a list of resources (websites plus books for children and adults) are appended. -J.R.L.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/ox-house-stick-cvr.jpg?v=1439828921\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/ox-house-stick-hires.zip?12150546440452842453\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/ox-house-stick-activity-guide.pdf?4512903798686760336\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Activity Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePaperback\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-57091-610-6\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-57091-609-0\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eE-book PDF\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-60734-049-2\u003cbr\u003e For information about purchasing E-books, \u003ca title=\"E-book\" href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge.myshopify.com\/pages\/e-books\"\u003eclick here\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 8-11\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 48\u003cbr\u003e8 \u003csup\u003e1\u003c\/sup\u003e\/\u003csub\u003e2\u003c\/sub\u003e x 11\u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]"}

Ox, House, Stick

Ox, House, Stick
The History of Our Alphabet

By: Don Robb / Illustrated by: Anne Smith

A is for Ox?

Can you read these words? You have the ancient Sinaitic people to thank—and your reading teacher. Our modern alphabet got its start about four thousand years ago in the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. But the story isn’t that simple. Through commerce and conquest, the alphabet grew and changed over thousands of years. Some letters flipped upsidedown. Some became rounder, while others got pointier. One letter was even kicked out of the alphabet—but then was let back in. Don Robb explains in clear, concise written language with letters that we all recognize (and a few we don’t) how our alphabet came into being. Letter by letter, young readers can trace the origins of the alphabet from its Sinaitic, Phoenician, Greek, and Roman beginnings. Bold, expressive collages illustrate the unique evolution of the alphabet and humankind’s need to communicate news and stories in writing.

Read an excerpt!

Maximum quantity available reached.

Don Robb, author

Don Robb is the author of This Is America and Hail to the Chief: The American Presidency. He lives in Andover, Massachusetts.

Read more about Don Robb.


Anne Smith, illustrator

Anne Smith is a graphic artist and illustrator. This is her first book for children. She lives in England.

Read more about Anne Smith.

  • A Junior Library Guild Selection, Premier Selection
  • Children's Book of the Month Club, Alternate Selection
  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Book
  • NCTE Orbis Pictus Award, shortlist
  • The White Ravens (International Youth Library)

The Horn Book Magazine

Our alphabet has evolved over four thousand years, with one culture after another borrowing and reshaping symbols to their needs. Robb traces the transformations of each letter through their Sinaitic, Phoenician, early and classical Greek, and Roman forms, grouping those (like C and G) whose histories were intertwined and tucking in lots of other fascinating lore. The Romans used V instead of U because it's easier to carve in stone (our usage of both letters dates only to the 1700s); they invented serifs for neatness in the same medium. The Phoenician forerunner of H was a consonant, but the Greeks used it, later, as a vowel. The Romans referred to letters as elements (elementa), possibly from the L-M-N sequence." Pleasantly open spreads accommodate basic information in a Roman face, ancillary information in sans serif, plus an abundance of illustrative details—letters in their various forms, objects that inspired them (see titles), artifacts, and details of ancient settings. An excellent first resource, skillfully organized to introduce the subject and inspire interest. A summary chart of letter origins and a list of resources (websites plus books for children and adults) are appended. -J.R.L.

Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-57091-610-6

Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-57091-609-0

E-book PDF
ISBN: 978-1-60734-049-2
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 8-11
Page count: 48
8 1/2 x 11