cover image A is for Amos

A is for Amos

Deborah Chandra. Farrar Straus Giroux, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-30001-2

In this unique combination of alphabet book and storybook, Chandra's (Balloons and Other Poems) galloping rhymes and Narahashi's (I Have a Friend) inviting watercolors take an imaginative cowgirl for a memorable ride. The title page features a jeans-clad, barefoot girl staring wistfully out the window with her calico rocking horse in the foreground. At the turn of each succeeding page, the girl is riding a real horse (the A for Amos of the title, also calico), as they go ""B for the bumpity bridge we cross/ C for the clippety clop of his trot,"" and so on through the alphabet. They ride past the F for farmer and through M for mud (""Sloppity cloppety thumpety thud/ Past pigs in a puddle/ M is for mud""). They hurry to get out of the rain (""V for weather vane that's twirling/ W for wild wind whirling"") and finally reach the cozy barn (""X for extra-dry and warm"") where the walls fade back to the wallpaper print of the girl's room. Chandra inventively moves along the alliterative lines and each featured letter is bold-faced for easy recognition. Narahashi's exuberant characters feature in varied compositions that shine with golden hues. This alphabetical tale is a charmer, from A to Z. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)