ALPHABLOCK, by Christopher Franceschelli with art by Peskimo is such a fantastic book it almost makes me want to have one more kid so that I can have the pleasure of reading it with her/him! Fortunately, I think I know a baby or two that I can put in my lap and read to. I am all about visuals and not just the illustrations. How a book looks, its size and shape and the cover art matter to me. ALPHABLOCK is visually satisfying on every level. And when you are a baby/kid who can't read yet, it's all about the visuals, right? ALPHABLOCK is yet another brilliant book from AbramsAppleseed, an imprint dedicated to instilling a love of books in babies and toddlers by publishing books that will "foster development of its young readers and engage them and their adults in artful, beautifully conceived books." (For reviews of other AbramsAppleseed books, click here.)
ALPHABLOCK definitely fulfills this mission. ALPHABLOCK gives each letter a two page spread with a third, letter shaped page in the middle that serves to obscure the item that starts with that letter. "I" is for . . . Visual clues give hints and the letter obscures the item almost completely, revealing just a glimpse of it. A turn of the page unveils, "ice cream." Some of the letters represent what you might expect ("C" is for cookie") and some letters really do surprise you. "H" is for HAMMER is one of my favorite pages and "P" is for PENCIL is a great page as well, although "O" really knocks it out of the park! The husband and wife team of Peskimo make their debut as children's book illustrators, although they have been working together for almost ten years crafting a "vast array of characters and creations that have appeared on Tshrits, magazines, newspapers, billboards and nightclub walls. They find inspiration in cartoons, vintage graphic design and overhearing people in the post office queue," as their website notes. Their illustrations are crisp and colorful with a sophisticated palette that is not typical in board books. I hope that Peskimo plans to illustrate a few more children's books in between all their other projects!
Thanks to the website Mom Colored Glasses for the above image.
Source: Review Copy