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Operation Alphabet (The Ministry of Letters)

Al MacCuish

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An entertaining caper about the wonder of words and the magic of storytelling


Not many people know this, but inside an ordinary red post box in London, next to Big Ben, there exists a top secret government department… It is the mysterious Ministry of Letters, the place where all the words in the world are made. Believe it or not, every single word you’ll ever read – even these – started life inside this not-so-ordinary post box.

Charlie Foxtrot has just started school and finds learning the alphabet strange and confusing. Luckily, Charlie’s struggles are spotted by two agents from the top secret Ministry of Letters, who summon the Special Alphabet Service (S.A.S.) to the rescue. Boarding trains, dodging hungry cats, and personally escorted by a dashing Duchess, the 26 letters of the Special Alphabet Service embark on a thrilling adventure to find Charlie, teach him the alphabet and open his mind to a love of letters and stories.

This entertaining and playfully illustrated book is an ideal way to introduce young children to the wonder of words and the magic of reading.

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'Beautiful, muted colours and retro illustrations make this book a real pleasure for grown-ups too'
Daily Telegraph

'Charming … the characters from the book can be utilised in a host of different ways to make children’s learning meaningful and exciting'
Creative Review

'Every now and then a new children’s book comes out that blows almost everything else off the shelf ... it’s a stunner'

'I HAD to write and squeal and jump about [this book] … What’s not to love? … Go get this book for your boys, it will be loved forever'
The Brothers

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (with reversible poster jacket)

Size: 26.0 x 19.5 cm

Extent: 64 pp

Illustrations: 36

Publication date: 19 September 2011

ISBN: 9780500515846

About the Author

Al MacCuish is the co-founder of Sunshine, a creative entertainment production company based in London and Los Angeles. He has written two bestselling children’s books, including Operation Alphabet, which was recently listed in the Daily Telegraph’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time. Al was also named one of Britain’s most influential people in 2016 by Debrett’s and The Sunday Times.

Luciano Lozano is a freelance illustrator based in Barcelona. His work has appeared in the Guardian and Le Monde.

Jim Bletsas is Head of Design at leading creative agency Mother. He lives in London with his wife, Jeannine, and son, Finn.

List of Contributors

Luciano Lozano, Jim Bletsas