24 OCTOBER 2007

Following in the footsteps of Madonna, Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and the Duchess of York US funnyman Steve Martin has written a children's book. The 62-year-old actor teamed up with New York cartoonist Roz Wilson to produce The Alphabet From A To Y With Bonus Letter Z!.

"I'm not sure why I did this," says Steve, who has no kids of his own. "I don't know why an alphabet book popped into my head - my idea was to write these rhyming couplets with the craziest images I could possibly think up, and then have Roz illustrate them."

Their project, described by its creators as a "nonsense ride across time and rhyme", gives youngsters a chance to practice their language skills with the tongue twisters. Highlights of the work - which went on sale this week - include H: "Henrietta the hare wore a habit in heaven/Her hairdo hid hunchbacks: one hundred and seven", and N: "Needle-nosed Nigel won nine kinds of knockwurst/By winning a contest to see who could knock wurst".

Steve, who has been honing his writing skills over the last few years by writing novels and articles for the US press, says he started with more difficult letters such as X: "Ambidextrous Alex was actually axed," before moving onto the easier options, like A and E.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The 62-year-old actor's latest project is a collection of short illustrated poems, titled The Alphabet From A To Y With Bonus Letter Z!Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The illustrated work's tongue twisters give children a chance to practice their language skills