All Around the Block: An Alphabet

All Around the Block: An Alphabet

by Judy Pelikan
     
 
This playful alphabet, lush with surprising details and limned in delicate colors, was inspired by that familiar and beloved nursery companion - the alphabet block. As reimagined by artist Judy Pelikan, each letter of the alphabet takes possession of its own face, covering, carving, painting, and manipulating the surface of the block in a variety of inventive and

Overview

This playful alphabet, lush with surprising details and limned in delicate colors, was inspired by that familiar and beloved nursery companion - the alphabet block. As reimagined by artist Judy Pelikan, each letter of the alphabet takes possession of its own face, covering, carving, painting, and manipulating the surface of the block in a variety of inventive and unexpected ways.

Pelikan approaches humble wooden cubes as points of entry into a magical world, one of surprising objects, exotic animals, intimate landscapes, and delicate balances. Every face is decorated with images related to its letter: the Painter's Pointillist block introduces a Pitcher and Pearls and one-Point Perspective, while a Tolstoy Tome straightens a Teetering Tea Table (set with a complete, and minute, Tea service). And some are not quite blocks at all: a Folded strip of Film follows sandy Footprints past a Friend's cowrie shell while a quartet of Jaunty Jacks squares up to form a miniature house of cards. Each page o?ers up its own intriguing and challenging little world, a combination of the best of Kate Greenaway's color and form and M.C. Escher's mystery and visual disconnects.

On the verso, facing each block, is the upper and lower case letter, redrawn after the forms of Paul Renner's simple, modern Futura typeface, elegant counterpoints to the fascinating, minutely detailed pencil-and-watercolor illustrations. This is small enough for a child to handle, and sophisticated enough for an adult to appreciate. It is a little bijou of a book.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Effective use of color intensifies the intricate illustrations featured in Pelikan's diminutive alphabet. In a conventional layout, each left page highlights a single upper-case and lower-case letter against a clean cream-colored background. However, this page stands as quiet contrast to its companion page, which displays a softly colored alphabet block that combines minute objects, letters and words to communicate the letter expressed. The crisp pictures capture both transparent representations and hidden items through pencil and watercolor; many blocks, such as the letter K, overflow with details. The consistent placement of letter and art creates a unified concept, though the illustration's clarity depends on the amount of material expressed on each slim page. Within this condensed perimeter, the restrained angles and narrow lines display an enormous volume of substance in a small space. The absence of story line and its compact format makes this more an object of intimate contemplation than anything else, and repeated examination will reap dividends. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781567923438
Publisher:
Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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