All my kids learned to read their first words from the backseat of a car, which is exactly why I am so excited and pleased with Maria van Lieshout's new book, Backseat A-B-See. van Lieshout does a wonderful job from A to Z, from the images to the layout to the signs she discovered to go with every letter of the alphabet and Chronicle Books has done a fantastic job with the production of Backseat A-B-See.
The author's note to Backseat A-B-See is enlightening and informative and worth printing in full here:
Road signs have always fascinated me. These simple, bold icons tell us where to go, help us arrive on time, keep us safe and mostly out of trouble.
We don't usually give thought to the story behind signs. Many evolved from wooden boards hand-painted early in the twentieth century; others were designed by a team of AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) graphic artists that included Seymour Chwast, Roger Cook and Don Shanosky. These symbol signs received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1984.
When I discovered my young son was equally smitten with road signs, I set out to create a book that celebrates them. Please DO ENTER!
A yellow car with a little head peering out of the backseat starts off the book with the words, "Vroom! Vroom! From the backseat, what do you see?" As the car (with the license plate ABC*FUN) travels down the road it encounters signs in alphabetical order, ending with the sign to the left and an increasingly shrinking line of ZZZZzzzzzzzz, the little tyke in the backseat sacked out. As with any truly brilliant book, it is deceptively simple but, upon reading and rereading reveals a depth and wealth of wonderful images, ideas and experiences.