About this project
The Gang of Twenty and Six: Alphabet Adventures is a fun, frolicking, and educational survey of the alphabet through their own rhythmic adventures. It was conceived for illustration and written for a parent or an adult to read and share with their child up to the age of eight or nine (3rd grade).
That's why we call it a "Read to Me" book.
About the Gang-
David Marchuck Barbour, the creator and author, entitled the book the Gang of Twenty and Six: Alphabet Adventures for the number of consonants and vowels in the English language (with sometimes-Y).
On the front and back cover you'll see the Gang as they make preparations for their performance.
David's concept for the book had two main elements: outstanding illustration and poetic alliteration.
David's first goal was to provide Brian Bemisdarfer, an illustrator extraordinaire and visual artist from Des Moines, Iowa, a challenging stage for Brian to bring the Gang to life. He wanted each adventure to provide the readers a fun and visual explosion of color, and Brian certainly delivered.
David wrote the verse for many of the adventures to support his visual concept of each adventure. A good example of this was his collaboration between B and Y for their adventures.
However, not all of the adventures are as cartoonish as Y and B. You'll find that I works a little magic.
Others have humorous themes. R might even bring a smile to Grandpas' face.
Or how about all the moms that feel a little quirkie, especially with the kids home from school?
Some folks will be drawn to the adventures of F, L, S, and U and the beauty of the illustrations and accompanying verse. Take for example Ss' sweet seaside sonnet.
Finally, several adventures speak to basic life issues. You've already seen Rs' response to being rushed into retirement. How about self-esteem, where Nail's nephew Needle wasn't like a Nail but Nail noticed Needle for his unique ability.
David also emphasizes the use of poetic alliteration. He wants children to hear words that start with the featured letter in as many combinations and wacky word pictures as possible while keeping with the adventure theme and poetic meter.
The words chosen were tactile - something that is visually in the illustrations but can be touched in real life. He avoids the abstract. The letter A is one adventure that advances that idea.
Yes, some of the words are fairly tough—another reason we call this a "Read to Me" book. However, while small kiddos may not be able to read the words, David doesn’t underestimate their ability to build upon their articulation and word identification skills with the help of the pictures.
The first edition of The Gang of Twenty and Six will be limited to 500 8.5 x 11 soft cover books. We will publish it as the KS (for Kickstarter of course) edition. We want it to be special for those who help fund it. Who knows? It could just become a valuable collector’s item, and that's fine with us, so long as it doesn't collect dust.
One Room Schoolhouse Edition Workbook
We also plan to publish in 2013 a "One-Room Schoolhouse Edition" student workbook for children pre-K through third grade. We are convinced that The Gang of Twenty and Six will serve as a wonderful textbook for home school and after school educational programs. While not funded by this project, monies received in excess of our project goal will be used to publish the workbook.
We believe "The Gang of Twenty and Six Alphabet Adventures" will be a classic. With your support the KS edition will be available for distribution in several months. The "One Room Schoolhouse Edition" student workbook will hopefully be available for purchase in September 2013.
Thank you for bringing the Gang to life in your hearts and home.
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