D is for Dying

The Mime Alphabet BookThe Mime Alphabet Book

This is a picture book for young children learning the alphabet.  As you read through, the left page is the letter and a word spelled out, then on the right page is a picture of a mime acting out the word.  Cute.

Except… the words they chose are not child-friendly at all!  What ever happened to “a is for apple” and “d is for dog?” Good grief, they’ve got a for astonishment, d for dying, g for guilty, m for miraculous; very few of the letters are kid-friendly at all.  My personal favorite is x.  Scroll down to see the brilliant word they assigned to x.

Plus, there’s the mime situation.  Mary loves a good mime.  She calls them “the other clowns.”



Well, THAT’S not scary.

G is for Guilty

How does this stance mean “guilty”??

X is for Xenophobia

X is for Xenophobia

Xeno-what??  This book is for very young children! Like, toddlers!!


  1. The greatest thing about this book is that because it’s in black and white and because of the make-up she’s wearing, if you squint you can imagine that it’s The Crow in mime form.

  2. I have this book, and I love it. It never occurred to me that it was supposed to be for kids–I just thought it was a cool art book, the classic children’s format twisted & sat on its ear.

    If I recall correctly, it was put together by 2 teenaged sisters, one a mime & the other a photographer.

  3. I think this is my favourite Awful Book so far. Of all time. Xenophobia? What was wrong with a good old Xylophone for goodness’ sake….? Or ‘X-ray’… She could have worn a Halloween skeleton costume for that one.

  4. I’m actually not disturbed by this book at all. Mainly because I can’t get over how cute her shoes are.

  5. There is a fine tradition of adult alphabet books (just do a search with those words in Worldcat). It is a form that gives itself over to many beautiful approaches and fun words. Just move it to the adult section of the library if the words disturb you. On the other hand, I think the word “xenophobia” is an important one for children to learn.

  6. If we have to have a morbid alphabet book, it should be Gashleycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey.

    “W is for Winnie, embedded in ice;

    X is for Xerxes, devoured by mice.”

    Another couple of images to haunt children’s dreams.

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