Alphabetter

Linda Ragsdale, illus. by Martina Hogan. Flowerpot, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4867-1210-6
In this addition to the Peace Dragon series, which aims to inspire self-confidence and compassion, Ragsdale presents an alphabetical array of invented portmanteau words, such as “unbelarious” (unbelievably plus hilarious) and “yanificent” (yay plus magnificent). Hogan amplifies the resolutely upbeat mood with a patchwork of digitally rendered animals and flowers. Others include “bebud” (best plus buddy), “dazzidence” (dazzling and confidence), and “bebud” (best and buddy), though the results aren’t always mellifluous (“quirutie,” taken from quirky and cute). Along the bottom edges, Ragsdale offers motivational sentiments for several words—for “exprassion” (express plus compassion), she writes, “Express yourself through love, and always have compassion”—though these quickly become one-note and repetitive in their “be kind” messages. Even so, readers with an interest in language may be inspired to create their own combos. Ages 5–9. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2017
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