cover image Caribbean Alphabet

Caribbean Alphabet

Frane Lessac. Tambourine Books, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-12952-1

Caribbean islands sparkle in the sun in this exuberant, luxuriantly illustrated abecedary. Alphabetically ordered vocabulary presented at the bottom of each page (``airport, arrivals, airplane, agouti'') prompt the reader to explore bustling scenes; like the words, some of the depicted activities are familiar (kite flying), some are not (limbo dancing). Unusual terms (hibiscus, Junkanoo) are explained in a pictorial glossary at the back of the book. The chosen words reflect the importance of nature; fruit, animals and plants predominate. Groupings of words help with sound recognition and issue implicit invitations to create sentences and even stories. Lessac's ( Caribbean Carnival ) illuminates the naive freshness of her childlike gouaches with an intense palette. Each picture has its own little narrative on this celebratory island tour--fun, fluid and imaginative. Ages 4-up. (May)