Baby book worm – book review:
Alphabet Street, by Jonathan Emmett and Ingela Arrhenius, published by Nosy Crow, price £12.99 (I bought this as a gift for Max).
In a last minute Christmas buying panic, I went classic headless chicken and started worrying that Max didn’t have enough/good enough/fun/educational/useful gifts. Luckily in my faff I managed to pick up this rather excellent book (trying to cater for the education side).
It takes the reader through a shopping street alphabet style. There are flaps that reveal alliterative animals and their everyday activities (our fave: “T is for Tiger who’s trying to skate” and falling over – Max’s *favourite* thing to see).
Once you’ve passed “Yackerty Zack’s” (a nifty looking beauty salon) this book gets really clever and opens up into a huge concertina panoramic scene. This depicts the animals having more everyday fun. It’s beautifully done and was a lovely surprise after (ahem) I bought it in such haste.
Alphabet Street is primarily a rhyming alphabet book which I hope will be helpful for Max once he properly starts to learn to read. But for the moment it’s useful for letter recognition and helping him learn the words for the animals and activities he can spot.
MY THOUGHTS (age 37):
The format of this book is a breath of fresh air – it’s really rewarding watching Max discover how it works and enjoying the sweet illustrations (although he does struggle getting the pages in order but he’s only two so there’s plenty he’s still not figured out…) There’s a lot to it with a whole alphabet worth of flaps, the street pictures and the scene on the back so it’s got bags of content to keep you both distracted.
MAX’S THOUGHTS (aged 2):
It gave me proper warm fuzzies discovering Max reading this on his own, surrounded by (far too many in the end!) other toys, late on Christmas day. It’s been a real hit. He’s only just started showing interest in letters, but for the moment the pictures are hooking him in. The characters are clear and recognisable, he seems to really enjoying following their antics. The concertina scene has him mesmerised and seems to really capture his imagination as we spend almost as much time making up stories about it as we do reading them book itself. So overall it has a high ‘again!’ score from the toddler!
There’s an elephant losing his hat which has Max in stitches. And a panda on a moped we have to revisit often. And a toy shop with lots of toys to ogle. And…like a lot of my favourite kids books it’s the tiny details that I love about Alphabet Street.
It’s marketed for 3-7 year olds, who are learning to read and will be more familiar with the letters. But I’d also very much recommend it for younger kids who appreciate sunbathing cats and squabbling quails. And anyone how likes to see an elephant being de-hatted.