Stephen T. Johnson pairs vivid imagery with witty alliteration that vibrates with energy and nourishes my soul. An ALA Notable and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year; checkout more rich, illuminating books by this author!
Very good book. I used it for my abstract art classes K-6 grade and they really enjoyed the book. I didn't really the book with the younger students, we just talked about that different materials used. However with the old students we did read and talk about the pictures.
SUMMARY: Each letter is of the alphabet is hidden within a piece of abstract art created by the author. Each letter also has an alliterative description such as: "Fourteen hundred and fifty-five fake French fries were flipped, flicked, and flung onto a full-size field of faint fuchsia" for the letter F.
ILLUSTRATIONS: The author/artist uses a variety of abstract methods to create each art piece. Each one is unique and interesting in and of itself before you even begin to look for the hidden letter. Each piece has multiple elements--which are described--and can also be hunted for within the piece.
THE GOOD: I don't usually like ABC books that are too far above a pre-reader's level of understanding, but this book is different in what it offers. This book is packed full of learning opportunities. It can be used in an art classroom for older children to learn about the abstract art style and its elements. It can be used for children wanting more difficulty in their education. Within this book, the reader is expected to search for the letter, but can also learn a huge amount of new vocabulary if he/she is willing to look up some of the words. As a teacher, I would have used this in my 5th grade classroom for weekly vocabulary lessons. My college age son read this book and loved it. Of course he is an art major! But he loved the fact that the book did not talk down to kids such as: B is for bat. That's been done a million times over. This book is unique and offers young gifted learners as well as older children a way to stretch their brains.
THE NOT AS GOOD: Some of the letters are really really hard to find. But thank goodness there is a visual key in the back of the book to point out the answers.
AGE RECOMMENDATION: Advertised for ages 5-9, but that can be stretched all the way up to middle school, honestly. This book has enough to offer every age group a little bit of something.
mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 12
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