Take Away the A

Illustrator: Kris Di Giacomo

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: Andersen Press

Age 3+

Activity Books & Early Learning Material, Early Learning: ABC Books / Alphabet Books Picture Storybooks Picture Books

A word totally transforms if you take away just one letter – without the A, the beast is best. Without the W, the witch has an itch! This is an alphabet book like no other. An irreverant exploration not only of letters in their alphabetic order, but also of how they form words and communicate ideas. Packed with humour and wordplay, the author and illustrator effortlessly play off each other to enhance humour and meaning. Children will not be able to resist inventing imaginative examples of their own.


Michaël Escoffier (Author)
Michael was born in France in 1970. Raised by a family of triceratops, he discovered his passion for making up stories at a young age. Michael has written over fifty books and divides his time between writing, teaching and being a dad. He lives in Lyon, France, with his wife and two children.

Kris Di Giacomo (Illustrator)
Kris Di Giacomo is an American who has lived in Paris since childhood. She has illustrated over 25 picture books. A fluent French and English speaker, Di Giacomo considers pictures her third language and her most universal means of communication. The language gap is a theme Di Giacomo explores with Michaël Escoffier in Take Away The A. Kris divides her time between working on new books and meeting her readers at schools and book fairs throughout France.


All alphabet books require mastery of the letters in order to read them, but this one manages that paradox with genius.

The New York Times Book Review

Beyond the inherent fun of the concept (which has plenty of potential for classroom activities), every scene tells a story – it’s practically 26 books in one.

STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

Amid the flood of alphabet books, now and then one rises to the surface. This one is a prize catch.

STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

A playful celebration of language not as a dry, mathematical exercise in letter-organisation but as a living organism, in which letters make meaning through a vast mesh of metaphorical associations driven by the imagination – the very faculty that is the hallmark of children’s minds.

Brain Pickings

A silly but smart introduction to wordplay

Irish Times

Very funny and quirkily illustrated.

The Huffington Post UK

Witty and sophisticated, this is an alphabet book unlike any other, and one to return to again and again.

Andrea Reece, Lovereading4Kids

An inventive and sophisticated alphabet book which makes you think in new ways about words and how they are spelled

Ann's Book of the Week, CLPE

Great fun!

Early Years Educator

It is likely to encourage children’s developing knowledge about and enjoyment of language.

Books for Keeps

Imaginative illustrations


Wonderful and clever… A lovely fun book with great illustrations and the kind of text which I’m sure that readers will want to read again and again.

The School Librarian

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