"Auggie sniffed at the A and ran away because he disturbed the B in the hay!"

Professor Poodle has enlisted the services of Auggie, an active and curious doggy, to help him find all the letters in the alphabet in this action-packed children's story by author Vogel. The hunt begins when Auggie impulsively rushes to show his smarts by revealing the letter A hiding in a stack of hay. But he flees almost at once when suddenly attacked by an aggressive B that is also hiding there. As the letter C looks on, Auggie crashes into Farmer D, wearing a straw hat and carrying a hoe. The farmer offers him protection from the B so he and the professor can continue their quest. They hop in Professor Poodle's model E car, pass a flashing F, and head toward a large G and a road with an H in the middle. But they are delayed by an I on the windshield, blocking their view. Auggie wants to ask a blue J for assistance but instead is met by an unhelpful K in the LMNOP tree. When the windshield is magically cleaned (perhaps by the M that Auggie took from the tree), they proceed on and camp out for the night. Just as the Q is rising, they awake and realize their "car with an R" won't start. Hence, they make stilts out of an S and a T. Blocked by two Us that are actually two girl sheep, they are finally able to get past them with the help of the sheep's mother, a perfect W. Before their trek is over, they will find the remaining letters, back where they started.

Retired from the United States Coast Guard, children's writer Vogel has made entertainment for young children a new avocation. Vogel's narrative centers on the search for letters and has an unusual twist in that the letters are not the starting of any obvious word, except in the case of the irksome B that attacks Auggie in the hay as he looks for A. The relation between the letters and the words possibly associated with them is far subtler, allowing the attentive reader to make guesses. For example, the sheep called U could clearly be a "ewe," wile its larger mother would be a "double-ewe." Read-to mentors like parents or teachers can help young listeners ferret out some of these meanings, while older children may be able to propose intelligent suppositions. The simple, colorful illustrations include such endearing marvels as the wooly white Us and the angry bee whose wings form the letter shape. Auggie is shown as bouncy and boisterous, while the professor is serious and studious, with a pince-nez adorning his long nose and a clipboard in his paw. The dynamic pairing of the learned teacher and his fun-loving student seems to presage great promise for further excursions like this one. Since the letters form the basis for all our language learning, Vogel's book provides accessible introductions to their appearance and some of the words associated with them. It is an especially recommended exploration for preschoolers, offering education through enjoyment.

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