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Author: Johnson, Stephen
Explore the alphabet in everyday objects found at school.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/01/15)
School Library Journal (08/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/15)
The Hornbook (00/11/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 PreS-Gr 1—Though alphabet books have proliferated in the years since Johnson published his Caldecott Honor book Alphabet City (Viking, 1999), his concept, which is about looking, not about language, remains distinctive. Twenty years after Johnson's initial foray into the genre, there are still very few alphabet books that are about visual discovery. Each page takes readers to a schoolhouse and asks them to identify the alphabetic shape within the tableaux. A ladder in the library forms an "A," while angled stairwell banisters become a "K." The simple concept showcases the complicated process by which the artist creates his images. Johnson's photorealistic monoprints are essentially a printed painting, digitally enhanced. To children, the illustrations may appear to be photographs. Of course, that is to lose sight of the shared experience—Johnson's first seeing (and then painstakingly re-creating), and our looking. The school house context will create immediate opportunity for text extensions; used alongside similar titles with content area focus, Leslie McGuirk's If Rocks Could Sing (Tricycle Press, 2011) and Krystina Castella's Discovering Nature's Alphabet (Heydey, 2006), this title will inspire young students to learn to look wherever they go. VERDICT A highly recommended title.—Lisa Lehmuller, East Providence School District, RI - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.