Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 07/01/2015 Gr 3 Up—This unique abecedarian tackles an unusual topic for an alphabet book-the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, also known as the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet "used by various emergency services." From "Alpha" to "Zulu," each spread features a full page watercolor/gouache/pencil illustration on the right and the word printed in large blocky black letters on the white expanse of the left, with the first letter highlighted in light blue. As the blurb at the back explains, the book aims not only to teach the readers this "internationally recognized code" but that "each page, each letter, each word, and each image invite investigation." The latter sentiment is somewhat of an understatement, as most of the image/word pairs require a level of sophistication beyond most children. Readers might grasp why "Charlie" is a bowler hat, or that a tumbler with ice and brown liquid, though not exactly child-friendly, stands for "Whiskey," but a picture of alpha particles for "Alpha," a pair boxing gloves for "Mike," or chocolate cake for "Kilo" may stump even some grown-up readers. VERDICT Though beautifully designed and lovingly illustrated in Arsenault's signature retro style, this book seems destined for a niche audience.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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