by Simon Basher

Kingfisher, $16.95, 64 pages

There are many ABC books on the market to choose from, but few have as many lessons incorporated into them as Simon Basher’s new book ABC Kids. Children will enjoy learning the alphabet using the book’s structured format. Basher’s illustrations are bold, bright, and cheery. An Asian artistic influence is present in his style. Any reader will find a character they can relate to because Basher takes a multicultural approach to representing the boys and girls found in each scene. One letter of the alphabet is featured in each double page layout. Here is what’s consistently included with every entry – An A to Z alphabet line teaches letter placement. Either a boy or girl is pictured interacting with an animal or object (A: Arthur’s angry ant ate apples). One item from the illustration that matches the highlighted letter is enlarged on the opposite page (the letter A has a big apple). Parents and teachers can point out the nouns, verbs, and adjectives and stress the importance of capitalizing names. Basher includes easy vocabulary and more challenging words as well (Maude’s mean monkey makes marvelous milkshakes). This is one ABC book that teaches children skills that will last a lifetime.

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin
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