Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet

Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet

Paul Thurlby
Board Book
For ages 2 to 4
Candlewick Press, 2013   ISBN: 978-0763666187

These days the authors and illustrators of alphabet books try to find new and creative ways to present familiar material. They want to make learning fun by presenting their audience with a fresh approach to learning the alphabet.

   This is what Paul Thurley has done in this book. For each letter of the alphabet the author has drawn the letter and then turned that drawing into a clever picture. For example for the letter A, the letter is turned into the body of a smiling little boy standing with his legs wide apart. The text that goes with the letter says “A is for Awesome!” Later on in the book, by adding a head, paws and a tail, he turns the letter D into a picture of a little dog that is sitting up and begging for a treat. The letter I becomes a green island complete with palm trees and a dancing hula girl. There is even a sea or ocean around the island.

   All of the illustrations in this charming book have a retro feel to them and each one is unique and special. Little children will be eager to see what turns up on the next page. Some of the letter words that they will learn are what you might expect to see in an alphabet book; words like owl, rabbit, and dogs, but others, like quicksand, jazz, and fierce, offer up an interesting challenge to keep children engaged and curious.