Alphabet Under Construction by Denise FlemingFrom Bogey Bear
This is one of my ALL-TIME favorite books!  Great pictures and such a simple story - a mouse building each letter of the alphabet!  When you are done going through the letters, there's more fun - Denise Fleming puts a work-schedule at the end, so you can talk to bear cubs and children about organizing this type of project and see how mouse did it.

About the Book
An artist's approach to introducing the alphabet :

Mouse is hard at work constructing each letter of the alphabet. He dyes the D, erases the E, and folds the F. Mouse works his way right through to Z, constructing an alphabet that surpasses even the wildest artistic imagination.

From Publishers
Weekly Mouse, the rambunctious rodent first seen in Fleming's Lunch, returns in this concept-book salute to hands-on (or, in this case, paws-on) creativity. Beginning at the beginning the letter A, of course Mouse fashions letters by means of various arts and crafts. Fleming has embraced the broadest definition of "construction" to include such activities as sawing, gluing, buttoning, icing (as in a cake) and quilting. Young children will no doubt enjoy seeing Mouse scurry sometimes humorously splattered with materials from one letter to the next, although they may puzzle over a few of the scenes. A few of the entries strain to fit the overall theme as when Mouse X-rays the X, Yanks the Y and Judges the J. The always playful, exuberant mood of Fleming's handmade-paper artwork, however, remains intact. Her broad range of dynamic, intense colors envelops readers with its sunny warmth. Ages 2-5. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal
 PreSchool-K-One very active mouse constructs an alphabet with 26 sturdy verbs. Several of them may be unfamiliar to the preschool set-airbrush, dye, judge, level, quilt, tile, weld, or X-ray-but the art, combined with a helpful adult, should make the meanings clear.

The vibrant illustrations "were created by pouring colored cotton fiber through hand-cut stencils" and have appealing texture and intense color. Though the text is limited to verb/letter ("folds the F, glues the G," etc.), the art (A and Z have spreads) is the strength of this offering. Mouse, who first appeared in Fleming's Lunch (Holt, 1995), is an enthusiastic builder though a bit untidy. Novice students of the alphabet may be enticed into constructing their own alphabets and/or gathering their own set of verbs. A worthy addition to the sea of ABC books.

Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA; Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
PreS.-Gr. 2. Fleming offers an engaging conceit executed in a marvelous medium. A hardworking mouse is building the alphabet: on each page the industrious rodent creates a letter using an activity beginning with that letter. Mouse dyes the D--a shimmery tie-dye effect; levels the L (using a pile of bricks and a carpenter's level), and quilts the Q.

Most of these actions are related to construction or artwork, and each letter, usually much larger than the mouse, is sturdily indicative of itself. For instance, the W being welded is made of wrought iron lattice. Fleming has poured colored cotton fiber through hand-cut stencils to make her illustrations, which are thus bold in outline and shape and vivid with an almost incandescent coloring.

Although this has the simplicity of many alphabet books, it also has momentum as the project moves forward, and ingenuity in its execution. The exhausted mouse's month of hard work is rewarded: the last page shows the completed alphabet. A handsome poster of the alphabet is included. G

raceAnne DeCandido Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author
Denise Fleming has written and illustrated many children’s books, including In the Tall, Tall Grass, Shout! Shout It Out!, and Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy. She won a Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond. Denise published her first painting in the third grade, when she started taking classes at the Toledo Museum of Art and one of her paintings was chosen to be the cover of a teacher’s magazine. She now works primarily with paper, by pouring colored paper pulp through hand-cut stencils. She lives in Toledo, Ohio. For more information about her and the other wonderful books she writes and illustrates, including activities for her books, please visit her website.