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by James Dunn, Helen Bate (Illustrator)

Find out about all things British in this unusual alphabet picture book. A is for Arthur, B is for Beatles. this innovative new picture book delight looks at some of the things that give the UK its vibrant and unique cultural identity.


Find out about all things British in this unusual alphabet picture book. A is for Arthur, B is for Beatles. this innovative new picture book delight looks at some of the things that give the UK its vibrant and unique cultural identity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's the details that make this ABC book stand out from the crowd. Featuring historical and cultural highlights of Great Britain (Giant's Causeway, punk music, vindaloo), each letter of the alphabet gets a uniquely stylized treatment in Bate's mixed media art. For “H is for Holmes,” Sherlock peers at readers through a magnifying glass, complete with pipe and deerstalker hat, while in “N is for Nessie,” the benevolent-looking creature hovers in murky light-infused water. Readers will also get a kick out of the 58-letter name of a Welsh village that begins with L (the glossary provides a rough pronunciation, as well as extra information on the other topics). The diversity of subjects makes it a prime pick for Anglophiles of all ages. Ages 5–8. (July)
Children's Literature - Emily Griffin
Beginning with one of the most famous historical figures, "A is for Arthur," this charming alphabet book highlights the diversity of the United Kingdom by showing people, places, and things that best represent the country's history and culture. Some items may be familiar to many children, such as the Queen, Robin Hood or football, but others, such as vindaloo, punk (music), or wellies, may be less so. Covering England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the British Isles, ABC UK is an appealing title for elementary children, especially in social studies classes. Each letter is given one page except for L, as in "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch" a railway station in Wales, which, understandably, takes up a double-page spread. The mixed-media illustrations are creative, energetic, and colorful interpretations. An Alphabet Glossary provides explanations and context. Originally published in the UK, this picture book is an excellent addition to any collection, whether for nostalgia or to introduce a new culture. Reviewer: Emily Griffin
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—A visually attractive primer on British culture. Originally published in the United Kingdom and written for a native audience (references to "our coins and stamps"), the book translates successfully. While "Football" (soccer) "Vindaloo," and "Wellies" might be familiar to British readers, they are sufficiently unusual Stateside, and as such offer a true taste of a foreign culture alongside more familiar British symbols like "Arthur," "Mini" (referring to both the skirt and the car), and "Robin Hood." The full-page, mixed-media illustrations are colorful and stylistically appropriate for each letter of the alphabet: a mod rendition of "The Beatles" against a gray Liverpool pier as opposed to an energetic, aggressive portrayal of "Punk." An appended alphabet glossary recaps and briefly explains the significance of each subject (readers will be grateful for the translation and pronunciation guide for "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch," which is the name of a railway station in Wales). This fun book will read as a nostalgic trip for anyone familiar with Britain and serve as a conversation starter for budding Anglophiles or for use in a classroom setting.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
From the Publisher

"A celebration of all things British, from King Arthur to Zero Degrees Longitude. The lovely pictures are consistently unexpected . . ." — The Times (London)

Product Details

Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

A is for Arthur
B is for The Beatles
C is for Carnival
D is for Dragon
E is for Explorers
F is for Football
G is for Giant’s Causeway
H is for Holmes
I is for Inventors
J is for Jury
K is for Kilt
L is for Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
M is for Mini
N is for Nessie
O is for Oak
P is for Punk
Q is for Queen
R is for Robin Hood
S is for Stonehenge
T is for Tea
U is for Union Jack
V is for Vindaloo
W is for Wellies
X is for Kiss
Y is for Yorkshire Pudding
Z is for Zero Degrees Longitude

Meet the Author

Robert Dunn lives in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, with his wife and family. He studied illustration at The Glasgow College of Building & Printing before delving into magazine illustration, painting, caricatures and book illustrations. Robert has worked on treasuries, Classic Collections (QEB), black and white book interiors and picture books.Helen Bate is an exciting and versatile illustrator, who previously qualified as an architect. Her work for Frances Lincoln includes the Purple Class stories by Sean Taylor. She is also the publisher of Pictures to Share, a series of illustrated books for people with dementia. Her picture book ABC UK by James Dunn was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal. She currently lives in Cheshire, U.K.

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