Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Alphabet

The Alphabet Thief

by (author) Bill Richardson

illustrated by Roxanna Bikadoroff

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Mar 2017
Alphabet, Poetry (see also Stories in Verse), Words
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 9
  • Grade: k to 4
  • Reading age: 5 to 9


When night falls, along comes a peculiar thief who steals each letter of the alphabet, creating a topsy-turvy world as she goes.

The alphabet thief stole all of the B’s, and all of the bowls became owls…

It seems that no one can stop her, until the Z’s finally send her to sleep so that all the other letters can scamper back to where they belong.

Bill Richardson’s zany rhymes and Roxanna Bikadoroff’s hilarious illustrations will delight young readers with the silly fun they can have with language — and may even inspire budding young writers and artists to create their own word games.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

About the authors

Bill Richardson is known across the country as the host of Richardson’s Round-up, heard daily on CBC Radio One. A writer, broadcaster and raconteur, Richardson originally wrote about the goings-on of Hector, Virgil, and company for broadcast on CBC Radio’s Gabereau. He has published eight books, including two sequels to Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast: Bachelor Brothers’ Bedside Companion and Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast Pillow Book. Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast, was the winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. A frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines, Richardson makes frequent public appearances reading poetry, narrating musical works, giving keynote speeches, and signing books. He lives in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.

Bill Richardson's profile page

Roxanna Bikadoroff is an award-winning Canadian artist whose illustrations have been published internationally for more than twenty-five years. Her work has been published (and shown) in Canada, the United States, Japan, England, Ireland, Europe, Romania, Brazil, Israel, and China. Her illustrations have appeared in hundreds of magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker and The Walrus magazine and on numerous book covers. She works in a variety of mediums, has won numerous awards, and has served twice as a judge for the National Magazine Awards. She was born in Montreal and currently lives in Vancouver.

Roxanna Bikadoroff's profile page


  • Commended, NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
  • Commended, New York Public Library Best Books for Kids

Editorial Reviews

This sneaky romp will do well one-on-one.

Kirkus Reviews

The text will inspire a passion for humorous wordplay.


Sure to delight wordsmiths of all ages. A fun read-aloud that lends itself to curricular application.

School Library Journal

A small and hilarious picture book … Pictures and verses seem to tumble over one another …

The Wall Street Journal

The wordplay is fun … Roxanna Bikadoroff's lively spot illustrations deftly keep pace as the altered words pile up.

New York Times

A fun romp that lends itself to both quiety amused solo reading and boisterous read-aloud sessions.


A smart pick for language lovers of any age.

Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

The clever story in rhyme and playful ink-and-watercolor illustrations depicting word transformations make this small book one to add to my collection of alphabet books.

Literacy Daily

Other titles by Bill Richardson

Other titles by Roxanna Bikadoroff

Related lists