×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Alphabet City
     

Alphabet City

4.5 2
by Stephen T. Johnson (Illustrator), Dori J. Chaconas
 

See All Formats & Editions

A 1996 Caldecott Honor book<P>The urban landscape will never look the same again. As Stephen T. Johnson demonstrates in a series of strikingly realistic pastels and watercolors, a simple sawhorse can contain the letter "A"--while lampposts alongside a highway can form a row of elegant, soaring Ys. A 1996 Caldecott Honor book, this sophisticated, wordless

Overview

A 1996 Caldecott Honor book<P>The urban landscape will never look the same again. As Stephen T. Johnson demonstrates in a series of strikingly realistic pastels and watercolors, a simple sawhorse can contain the letter "A"--while lampposts alongside a highway can form a row of elegant, soaring Ys. A 1996 Caldecott Honor book, this sophisticated, wordless alphabet book is sure to appeal to young and old alike. <P>"Imaginative, stimulating, and striking." --<i>The Horn Book</i><P>"Sure to intrigue." --<i>Booklist</i><P>* A Picture Puffin <br>* Full-color illustrations<br>* 32 pages<br>* All ages

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This wordless ABC, a Caldecott Honor book illustrated with photo-realistic still lifes, "transcends the genre by demanding close inspection of not just letters, but the world," said PW in a starred review. All ages. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The scenes of New York City look like photographs, but they are actually realistic paintings that reveal the alphabet in a most unusual way. For example the letter "G" shows up in the grill work of lamppost and an "H" appears within a scene of two buildings connected by an walkway. It is intriguing and requires a bit of sophistication on the part of the reader.
School Library Journal
Gr 1 Up-Beginning with the A formed by a construction site's sawhorse and ending with the Z found in the angle of a fire escape, Johnson draws viewers' eyes to tiny details within everyday objects to find letters. In this wordless tour of sights from Times Square to the Brooklyn Bridge, he invites young and old alike to take a new look at familiar surroundings, discovering the alphabet without ever looking in a book or reading from a sign. Conceived in the tradition of Ann Jonas's work, especially The Thirteenth Clue (Greenwillow, 1992), Johnson's pastel, watercolor, gouache, and charcoal paintings are much more realistic than his illustrations for The Samurai's Daughter (Dial, 1992); in fact, they are almost photographic in appearance. Some of the images are both clever and incredibly clear, e.g., the E found in the sideways view of a traffic light. Others, such as the C in the rose window of a Gothic church, are more obscure. Nevertheless, all of the paintings are beautifully executed and exhibit a true sense of artistic vision. While parents or teachers might assume from the title that this is a traditional alphabet book, they should be encouraged to look at it as an art book. It's sure to inspire older children to venture out on their own walks to discover the alphabet in the familiar objects of their own hometowns.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Ilene Cooper
This is hardly an alphabet book for preschoolers; some of the depictions of letters may stump older kids (or even adults!). Nevertheless, the artwork is quite amazing. At first glance, or even second, the art appears to be photographs, such is the beautiful clarity of the pictures. However, the paintings are actually done in pastels, watercolors, gouache, and charcoal on hot pressed watercolor paper. The images themselves, one to a page, with each forming a letter of the alphabet, are urban: "A" is a construction sawhorse; "P", a handrail in the subway; "Z", a building's fire escape. Some of the pictures, especially those that use negative space, are harder to spot. Still, this is sure to intrigue, and art teachers, especially, will enjoy finding ways to use such a unique offering.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670856312
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/28/1995
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
336,138
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 10.81(h) x 0.38(d)
Lexile:
1170L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Stephen T. Johnson is a highly versatile American artist whose art spans a broad range of concepts, contexts and mediums including painting, collage, drawing, sculpture and installations and can be seen in museum and gallery exhibitions, public art commissions, and through his original award-winning children’s books. 

Much of Johnson’s work is characterized by an interest in the alphabet and language, which began with his book Alphabet City, a Caldecott Honor and New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year.  His most recent engagement with the alphabet is his ongoing series of “literal abstractions” which are the subject of his book A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet, also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and featured in several solo museum and gallery exhibitions.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Alphabet City (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An artist sees things that we often miss in our daily landscapes as we are too frequently in such a hurry to recognize the beauty that can be found all around us - even in the most urban of settings. This creative group of images will fascinate all ages!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The challenge of identifying the individual letters of the alphabet in city scapes had me so engrossed I didn't realize for a very long time that the illustrations were, in fact, paintings and not photographs. This is an excellent book. Not only does it lend itself perfectly to learning the letters of the alphabet but it also provides a wonderfully stimulating feast for the eyes.