The Artful Alphabet


Written and Illustrated by Martina Jirankova-Limbrick

Candlewick Press, 2003


Enormous elevated elephant exquisitely exhibited everything!

The alphabet theme: A little girl and her dog use a magic hat to create all the letters of the alphabet and bunches of things that begin with them.

This is one of those books that you can flip through in a few minutes, but you really need more time to savor it.  Most pages offer several words that begin with the letter in question and often, the word itself is crafted into the illustration.  The text changes font, color and size throughout the book.  Some pages seem haphazard and others are so precise and detailed.

I'm glad that Invent Impossibility isn't on my To Do list.

I’m glad that Invent Impossibility isn’t on my To Do list.

This is author/illustrator Martina Jirankova-Limbrick’s first children’s book and it almost seems a shame to call it a children’s book.  I found myself poring over the pages time and time again, always finding new things I hadn’t seen before.  Some pages are sparsely covered, with a word here and there and others are like the L page, which features a two-page spread of a lion in a library where most of the pages are covered by shelves of books, all with L titles.  The artwork is delicate and engaging and the little details set it apart from other alphabet books.

The X Factor:  It’s an X party on these two pages!  The obligatory X-ray is there, but there are lots of other words with X in the middle or at the end.  Bonus points for using non-standard words like fixative, lynx and vexation.


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