Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

E is for Eiffel Tower: A France Alphabet

E is for Eiffel Tower: A France Alphabet

Helen L. Wilbur
Illustrator:   Yan Nascimbene 
Nonfiction Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 to 12
Sleeping Bear Press, 2010   ISBN: 978-1585365050

You may not know it, but something with French origins has probably touched your life today. The milk in your cereal or coffee was pasteurized, a process that was invented by Louis Pasteur who was a Frenchman. You are able to watch a movie on the TV because Auguste and Louis Lumiere invented the first motion pictures. The idea of going to place to eat where there are several dishes to choose from is also French. A Parisian soup seller called Boulanger created the first restaurant.

In this fact filled and beautifully presented alphabet book, Helen L. Wilbur and Yan Nascimbene give their readers a colorful and fascinating picture of France and the French people. For every letter of the alphabet, a topic is explored that has something to do with France: and for every topic there is a poem, a section of informative text, and an illustration. For example, for the letter E the author looks at the Eiffel Tower. There is a poem about the tower and how “it stands / a symbol of France to other lands.” This poem is complimented by a lovely illustration and by a section of text in a sidebar that describes how the tower came to be built, what it is made of, and other facts about the spectacular structure that was once “considered by many to be an eyesore.”

Other topics covered in the book include: “L is for Lavender,” “M is for Mona Lisa,” “P is for Paris,” and “T is for Tricolore.”

What makes this book special is that it can be enjoyed on several levels. The wonderful illustrations can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The poems particularly suit younger readers, while the additional text is perfect for older readers who are interested in exploring the topics in greater depth.

This is one in a series of alphabet books published by Sleeping Bear Press. Readers might find the companion website interesting