cover image The Alphabet Parade

The Alphabet Parade

Seymour Chwast. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-200351-7

Chwast's distinctive, poster-styled art is well suited to children's books: his subjects are simply and boldly delineated; his palette is vivid and cheery. This alphabet procession, however, is somewhat uninspired--many of the representative images will be familiar to browsers of the overflowing shelves of abecedarian books. There are intriguing twists here, though, that raise several entries above the commonplace: the ice cream cone and the old-fashioned telephone have legs, the zoo rides on a float (to enable them to take part in the parade). Other pictures may confuse youngsters: children just learning their ABC's might not realize that the instrumentalists on the J spread are part of a jazz band, or that R 's football player is a receiver . (A word list at the end of the book helps.) Youngsters should enjoy relating the spectators--in a horizontal row at the bottom of each spread--to particular letters, as a goose and a gaucho watch the G section and pet owners hold a koala and kitten up to enjoy the K group. All in all, this may be more of a treat for Chwast's adult fans than for the ABC crowd. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)