By Roz Chast
Bloomsbury USA, $15.00, 64 pages
This book is not your typical A-to-Z alphabet book. It is more like the Alphabet Game… gone wrong. When author and illustrator Roz Chast has trouble sleeping, she plays the Alphabet Game. Categories include flowers, animals, colors and vegetables, and she names something in that category for every letter. One night, the game got dark. Chast wondered if she could list 26 anxieties/concerns/threats/fears. She did, and readers can check out her list in the book What I Hate: From A to Z, with such examples as A is for Alien Abduction, and B is for Balloons. The combined text and drawings of pet peeves and nightmares are suited for an adult audience. Chast is well known for her comic-book style illustrations, so each topic is explored further in pictures as well as words. She also has a dry sense of humor that readers will enjoy. Everything from doctors, elevators, heights, carnivals and quicksand terrifies her. You’ll find yourself trying to guess her next fear. Could O be for Owies? No, she fears Ouija Boards and asks, “Why tempt fate?” What about T? Could it be tarantulas? Guess again! Chast hates Tunnels. Can you name the top 26 things you hate? Just don’t lose sleep over it!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin