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With sharp eyes, endless patience and vivid imagination, McGuirk seeks and finds rocks in the shapes of alphabet letters and items representing those letters.
Using these finds and some inventive photography, she has created a most unusual alphabet book. The opening spread lays out all the amazingly accurate stone letters (some uppercase, some lowercase) on a background of soft, natural, earthy beige. Each letter is given its own page, and some have a double-page spread. The letter-shaped rock names the shape—as in "e is for elephant"—and the remarkable rock shapes either stand alone or are given props. The "ghost" rocks float eerily on a black background, while "K is for kick" aims a foot-shaped rock at a bright-orange ball. The seahorse floats among seaweed, and a rock mitten is paired with one made of wool. Some of the more conceptual references stretch the imagination a bit, and little ones may need some explanation. For "U is for up," two animal-shaped rocks play on a seesaw; too bad there was no umbrella or unicorn rock to be found. The ever-difficult "x" is the only disappointment; "x is for xoxo" depicts a pudgy figure that kind of resembles two people kissing, but this may be a stretch for children. An author's note provides additional information about McGuirk's dedicated collection process.
Begs to be pored over again and again.(Alphabet book. 3-10)
Review, The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2011
"There is as much wit here as there is potential pedagogy: The rock that is used to show "O is for ouch!" looks as though it is shouting and wincing at the same time; the slab of "toast" used to illustrate the letter T so nearly resembles whole-grain bread that you can imagine yourself biting into it."
Review, School Library Journal, May 1, 2011
"Sure to spark imaginative rock-finding hunts and found-object art projects, this quirky title will earn its place in any picture-book collection."
Review, Booklist, May 1, 2011
"With clean page design, restrained use of color, and minimal text, this intriguing book showcases the rocks themselves and may inspire children to discover their own found art."
Review, Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2011:
"Begs to be pored over again and again."
Review, Publisher's Weekly, March 14, 2011:
"It's an unusual labor of love that may have kids checking the ground for familiar shapes."
Posted May 30, 2013
Posted November 30, 2011
What a wonderful opportunity for children to practice the letters of the alphabet and become more aware of the world around them.....curious children will be looking for their own rocks!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 6, 2011
this is a very unique book that has rocks shaped like the letters of the alphabet. I thought the photos were great and the kids in my kindergarten class loved them. We read this book during our rock unit in science, and it reinforced the ABC's. A great book for the classroom!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2014
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