Nathalie Trovato’s Alphabet in Bloom is better art piece than ABC primer

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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.

© 2017, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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