Saturday, 10 September 2016

Alpha by Isabelle Arsenault

The funny thing about alphabet books is that they are traditionally for babies and toddlers, who are years away from wanting or needing to know about their A, B, C's. And then if you do look at them with school age kids, the font will be different to what they are learning at school or the words used to illustrate the letters aren't phonetic or the C isn't a hard one. They do not work as a teaching tool. But that doesn't mean they can't be a fantastic read. I definitely have a soft spot for alphabet books, which is lucky as every illustrator who is popular at all seems to do one. My favourite is Paul Thurlby's Alphabet. I have two copies, one on the shelf and one on the wall facing my younger three boys beds.

I know, you could say they will grow out of it, but I don't care. It's just beautiful art and hopefully they will never grow out of that. Bruno Munari's ABC is one I have often wanted to get but never did and Alpha is my latest purchase. The excuse I used to get it was that it was for older kids insofar as each letter is written using the NATO phonetic alphabet. You know, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, with each illustrated so, so beautifully. I do love it but have a feeling it could be a bit too aimed at hipster parents. Its dangerously cool, to be honest. However, it is quite fun going through it and seeing which letters we know and which we don't and It would be FANTASTIC pasted onto boards like the one pictured above. The letters are opposite the illustrations though, (fifty two pages!) so you would need a very big bedroom. 

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