CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 8 . . . . December 14, 2001
Utilizing black and white photographs, Milich, an award-winning photojournalist, has created a most imaginative urban ABC book which utilizes "found" letters in man-made objects in the city. For example, a joint in a rain down spout forms a "y" while a bridge railing provides an "S" and a child's playground swing creates a "T." Each pair of facing pages offers from one to three letters of the alphabet plus the accompanying b&w photographs. The only additional colour that appears is red which is employed for each letter as well as being overlaid on the photographs to highlight the letters in their found forms.
Although the letters of the alphabet are printed in their lower and upper case forms, the photographs show but one version. For instance, the letters "Gg" and "Qq" are illustrated only in upper case form while "Bb" and "Mm" appear just in lower case. Certainly reading this book will encourage youngsters to look at their environments with new "alphabet" eyes; however, some who are still dealing with Piagetian tasks of conservation will have difficulty in the real world in disentangling the letters from their surroundings. Photography classes can use the book as a model for individual or class projects. Obviously not a child's first ABC book, The City ABC Book does merit consideration as a home purchase by parents.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.