…Keith Baker unleashes those round green symbols of similarity from their pods and reveals their impish individuality.
The Washington Post
A passel of industrious peas narrates inventive, alphabetically arranged avocations: "We are peas-alphabet peas! / We work and play in the ABCs." Amid towering, digitally textured capital letters, Baker's veggies, sprouting green arms, legs and animated physiognomies, star in scores of charmingly detailed tableaux. At "F," farmers hoe and water at "Happea Farms," a duo waves checkered flags at a bike race's finish line and a quintet of friends jams in a band whose drum kit announces its name: "Pod." "K" features (soccer) kickers, kayakers navigating the letter's watery, angled bend and a couple of kings-one atop a tower with crown and scepter, the other crooning into a mike below (he's Elvis, of course). The well-chosen text type, Frankfurter Medium, pudgy and whimsical, proves eminently crisp and legible for emergent readers. This high-energy romp invites repeat visits by young browsers-there's plenty to pore over and giggle about. Delicious! Peas out. (Picture book. 3-7)
Hundreds of animated green peas tumble through the alphabet in this refreshingly original book. The illustrations are full of vitality and good humor, and the rhyming text never misses a beat. Each large, pastel letter is accompanied by energetic peas introducing themselves (“We're acrobats, artists, and astronauts in space”). Most letters occupy a single page, but Baker combines some letters the way children repeating a just-learned alphabet often do. The peas are all small and round, but Baker (Just How Long Can a Long String Be?!) gives them stick legs and arms, along with lively faces and costumes, to demonstrate his inventive view of each letter. To illustrate the letters H and I (“We're hikers, inventors, and investigators”), two peas climb a branch leaning on the H, a pea in a Sherlock Holmes hat tries to decipher footprints below, and a single pea with a light bulb above his head, smiles at his newly invented wheel that dots the letter I. Baker's after-the-Z surprise ending is a question for readers: “Now tell us, please... WHO ARE YOU?” Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
* "This high-energy romp invites repeat visits by young browsersthere's plenty to pore over and giggle about. Delicious!"Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Hundreds of animated green peas tumble through the alphabet in this refreshingly original book. The illustrations are full of vitality and good humor, and the rhyming text never misses a beat." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, March 22, 2010 *Starred Review
* “Humble green peas provide inspiration in this hilarious, occupation-based romp through the alphabet…. The digitally rendered illustrations glow in vibrant, textured colors that boldly leap off the page against a background of ample white space. The sheer fun of the rhythmic text and the large alphabet letters work well for a read-aloud audience, but the busy, engaging details of the peas in their various worker modes are better suited for one-on-one exploration that young children will want to pore over again and again.”—School Library Journal, starred review
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"We are peasalphabet peas!/We work and play in the ABCs." Small round green peas come to life to take us on a rhyming romp through the alphabet. For each letter, they announce their activities at work and play. For example, the B page reads: "We're builders, bathers, and bikers in a race." For E, "We're eaters, electricians, and explorers searching land." The variety of actions is endless and imaginative. In the end, after all of the descriptions, comes the question: "What are you?" Large upper case textured block letters, each a different color, support the activities, including gardening, creating a lakeside camp for some campers, and more. There is space enough on these spreads for action to happen around the letters. The bikers race along the double pages; the investigator with magnifying glass follows a maze of footprints; outlaws empty a safe of cash. These tiny digitally-created anthropomorphic peas are individualized by their clothing and activities. Readers should enjoy following them around from the book's cover on, and they may be inspired to create some alphabet peas of their own. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Krisan Murphy
Busy as a pea! A host of small round green peas introduce themselves and the alphabet in this delightful, upbeat rhyming poem. From seven ring-tossing, stacked acrobats to six booted caterpillar-caring zoologists and their spectators, peas are everywhere. For vegetables, they sure get around! The letters of the alphabet are large and easy for a child to trace with a finger, while the small peas inhabit them. The active peas are builders, climbers, dancers, and electricians. Peas are employed as gardeners, gigglers, givers and takers, hikers, inventors, and investigators. They are also miners, nurses, officers, and plumbers fixing leaks. The level of pea-activity and minute expressions of the green characters will capture the imagination of every child. Teachers will find this an outstanding resource when discussing occupations to the youngest readers. The author-illustrator uses vivid pastel colors in the watercolor paintings rendered digitally. A CD recording of the book with a page-turn signal option is included. The recording has pleasant music in the background, and includes a track with the singing of the text. Reviewer: Krisan Murphy
Children's Literature - Alison Johansen
The alphabet peas are playful, silly, and fun as they take us through our ABCs! Each letter illustrates adventurous and super cute peas as they demonstrate their various professions, hobbies, and activities. While acrobats climb and astronauts soar over “A,” kayakers float down “K” and yogis pose on “Y.” Baker’s illustrations are adorable, engaging, and sure to make a splash with readers both young and old. The letters pop off the page in vibrant colors as the peas climb, drive around, and explore their nooks and crannies. Do the peas teach us the alphabet? They sure do, but they also invite children’s imaginations to explore the many cool things they can become and do! If you are looking for a book that teaches the alphabet but also illustrates the many hobbies and activities out in the world, this is it. The alphabet peas are adorable, captivating, and endearing. Every page is a storyor threeunto itself! What will these peas do next? Open the book at any page and you are sure to be delighted. Reviewer: Alison Johansen; Ages 3 up.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Humble green peas provide inspiration in this hilarious, occupation-based romp through the alphabet. Four-inch-high letters on each page serve as an ingenious architectural platform around, above, and inside of which dozens of "pea-ple" swarm in joyful pursuit of myriad types of work. Bouncy, rhyming text introduces the alphabet peas as "acrobats, artists, and astronauts in space, builders, bathers, and bikers in a race," with unpaid "voters and volunteers" receiving their due, too. Baker's inventive details belie the "as alike as two peas in a pod" adage; each and every amusing personalized pea is as unique as a snowflake—and that's the point. The digitally rendered illustrations glow in vibrant, textured colors that boldly leap off the page against a background of ample white space. The sheer fun of the rhythmic text and the large alphabet letters work well for a read-aloud audience, but the busy, engaging details of the peas in their various worker modes are better suited for one-on-one exploration that young children will want to pore over again and again.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT