Alphadoodler: The Activity Book That Brings Letters to Life

Jan Bajtlik. Tate (Abrams, dist.), $16.95 paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-84976-405-6
Handsome typography and striking graphic elements lend sophisticated flair to this activity book, which received a special mention for the 2015 BolognaRagazzi Award for nonfiction. With a decided focus on letters and fonts, Polish illustrator and graphic designer Bajtlik gives readers numerous opportunities to embellish the pages of the book with their own drawings and writing. Occasional dashes of neon colors invigorate the otherwise black-and-white pages. “A toothless crocodile? Impossible!” reads text accompanying a fluorescent green crocodile with a gaping (but empty) mouth. “Put in the teeth using the letters ‘M’ and ‘W.’ ” Elsewhere, skyscraper-skinny letters that spell metropolis become buildings for children to fill with activity; a collage experiment asks readers to “create portraits of your family using cuttings from newspapers”; and green question marks in various fonts accompany a photograph of a sea horse, whose shape they share. Stylish, thought provoking, and deeply creative. Ages 5–7. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/23/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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