I’m going to come straight out and say it, but I really don’t like alphabet books. For the most part they are dull flash-card type experiences and are often bought as after thought gifts. Perhaps that’s a touch judgemental, but I’ve come across a couple of really great alphabet books which are the exception that proves the rule. One is Alison Jay’s Alphabet book which is just sublime, and today this one dropped through our letter box: Cleo’s Alphabet Book.
I was tempted to see what was inside this little number after enjoying Cleo’s Counting and Colour books. The bright illustrations appealed to Emily (and to many small customers who ‘borrow’ them from my stall!) and they told a story instead of just being an image and a word on each page which appealed to me. When I opened the alphabet book though, I was blown away. Taking a different approach from any other alphabet book I’ve seen, Caroline Mockford has presented a challenge. Each page gives a clue about the word it’s describing: ‘B’ isn’t a boat, it’s something that floats on the waves. It creates interaction between reader and listener. It’s also a real ‘grow with you’ book; each letter shown in it’s upper and lower case, useful for anyone learning to read. Perhaps I’m being fanciful, but I could also imagine it would be a great way for sibling bonding, with older children reading it to the littlies and helping them solve the puzzle.
Cleo’s alphabet is available as a board book (£4.99) and in paperback (£5.99)