Imagining the ABCs


An Artist’s Alphabet, by Norman Messenger; Candlewick Press, $17.99, 48 pages, all ages. 

Alphabet books are especially popular this time of year, and one particular standout is Norman Messenger’s latest offering, An Artist’s Alphabet. Each letter is illustrated by an irreverent illustration. At first glance, the artwork may be confusing–why are cats standing in at the letter D? It’s the shapes the felines make with their oversize bodies that illustrate the letter at hand. Watercolor and pencil renderings of gryphons, boots, and three-headed dragons all pitch in to teach the ABCs to pre-literate and emerging readers, but readers of all ages will delight in this special presentation.