Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Alphabet Week -- 5 Days of Great Alphabet Books, Day 3

This is one of our favorite alphabet books. What sets it apart from other alphabet books is the stunning quality of its artwork. The rhyming text detailing all sorts of beautiful and exotic sea life also makes it worth adding to your home collection.

The pictures are all by Steven Jenkins, collage artist extrordinaire. Every time I read this book, I am struck again by the beautiful layers of torn and cut paper that make up the pictures. There just isn't anyone who does collage art like Jenkins.

The rhyming text, by Deborah Lee Rose, will introduce kids to all manner of interesting ocean life -- anemones, grey whales, dolphins, manatees, jellies, narwhals, umbrellamouths and viperfish and my favorite page, zooplankton. There's a nice balance between animals children will know (crabs, penguins, octopus) and those that will probably be new (narwhals, zooplankton, umbrellamouths). There's also a nice correspondance between the letters represented and their beginning sounds. For the letters W and X, " Whales eXhale..."; maybe not the first letter of the word, but certainly a better representation of the sound X makes than the all-too-common "xylophone."

At the back of the book, as with all Jenkins books, there's a section with extra information about all the animals in the book. Excellent for older kids who are interested in ocean critters, or to incorporate this book into a larger unit about ocean life.

This book is out in paperback, but I think it's worth tracking down in hardcover; if your kids are anything like mine, this book's going to get a lot of repeat use.

All pictures via

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