AN ALPHABET IN BLOOM by Nathalie Trovato, Home Grown Books, May 16, 2017, Hardcover, $17.95 (ages 3-8)
An Alphabet in Bloom is not your conventional ABC book. First, only the letters A and Z are represented and only on the first and last pages. The idea being that you learn the letters and words contextually. This may work for older readers, but I found this very confusing for the younger set.
An Alphabet in Bloom requires readers understand broader concepts than just objects. For example, the E picture is a plate, salad, fork and knife. The E words being conveyed are “eat,” “edible,” “eight” and “entrée.” When asked what was on the page, my 3-year-old, who has known her letters for more than a year, stated “knife, fork, flowers and leaves.” I’m glad I didn’t tell her we were reading an alphabet book, because she’d think those things actually began with the letter E.
The abstract nature of Nathalie Trovato’s cut paper illustrations — while beautiful — and the specific names of some things (Julia butterfly?) also do little to help clarify.
An Alphabet in Bloom works best when used as a visual guessing game with both parent and child involved. It’s a bold and beautiful picture book that serves as a strong artist showcase. Though I think the ABC element could have been executed better, I appreciated the creativity incorporated throughout.
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