cover image The Calypso Alphabet

The Calypso Alphabet

John Agard. Henry Holt & Company, $13.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1177-7

With the seductive colors and rhythms of Caribbean island life, this alphabet book offers children a window on a neighboring culture that is rich with tradition. Agard weaves the region's exotic and often unfamiliar words and phrases ( Anancy , kaiso , doh-doh ) into a joyously poetic text that begs to be read aloud. Unfortunately, ``zombie'' is included for the letter Z and could possibly scare younger children. There's a helpful map on the back cover and notes that give further information on each word used. The warm tropical hues of Bent's earthy scratchboard-and-ink illustrations provide an exuberant counterpoint to the text. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)