Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Paul Thurlby's Alphabet

Title: Paul Thurlby's Alphabet     
Author: Paul Thurlby   
Illustrator: Paul Thurlby
Publisher: Templar Books - an imprint of Candlewick Press
Publication Date: October 2011   
Genre/Format: Alphabet Book/Picture Book   
Summary: Paul Thurlby has created an alphabet book which he explains, "...fuses the object of the word with the shape of the letter."   
What I Think: This has now become my all-time favorite alphabet book! It has surpassed LMNO Peas by Keith Baker - which I still adore, don't get me wrong - but I'm a sucker for creative artwork. I love books that are visually appealing! To me this book takes the cake as far as visual appeal goes because of the bright colors that are given texture by how Thurlby is able to make the pages appeared aged. I love to scrapbook and the pages in this book remind me of a style of scrapbooking that I love.

I think this book will appeal to students of any age. While a preschooler or young child might be learning the letters and their names and sounds, older children and even students in high school can respect the artistic elements that Paul Thurlby has incorporated into his artwork. Older students could be challenged to come up with their own representation of a letter of the alphabet. This could easily be an extension an Around the World activity. The way I play Around the World is I have students write the letters of the alphabet or give them a half sheet of paper with the letters of the alphabet down the side. Students are then challenged to come up with words or phrases or sometimes sentences, that relate to a topic of study or even a novel. After completing the activity, students could be asked to choose their best word or phrase or sentence and to develop a visual representation similar to Thurlby's alphabet pages.

Besides the visual aspects of this book, Paul does a great job of matching the pictures he uses to represent each letter of the alphabet. I thought he was very creative in choosing words to represent the letters and in coming up with great illustrations to match. These two are my favorites:
"E for Embrace" - I immediately said, "Aw!" I thought this was very unique.

"Q for Quicksand" - This made me laughout loud - the facial expression was hysterical to me.
Read Together: Pre-K - 12 
Read Alone: Pre-K - 12 
Read With: LMNO Peas by Keith Baker, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, other alphabet books!


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