Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Alphabet City

Alphabet City

Stephen T. Johnson
Wordless Picture Book
For ages 2 to 5
Puffin, 1987   ISBN: 978-0140559040

If you are observant you might have noticed that there are all kinds of pictures and shapes in the world around you. Hopefully you have taken the time on a clear day to look up at the sky and to look at the pictures the clouds make against the blueness behind them. Is that one a clown? Perhaps that one over there is a castle?

In this Newbery Honor book Steven T. Johnson takes us into a city, and he finds the letters of the alphabet in the most surprising places. He sees a D in a flower bed, an N in a bridge, and an O on a snow covered bench. The paintings of the urban scenes where he finds the letters are stunning and strangely evocative. There are no people in any of the paintings and this draws the reader's attention to the forms that the illustrator has found.

Without a doubt this special picture book shows the reader that there are hidden pictures everywhere, and that there is also beauty in the most unlikely of places.