The Artful Alphabet

Overview

Sure to charm children and collectors alike, this artful alphabet book promises a new discovery each time one opens its whimsy-filled pages.

"A" is for the amazing abundance of art in this addictive alphabet book! Fine artist Martina Jirankova-Limbrick fills each page with a playful profusion of objects, characters, shapes, and scenes, each one standing for, starting with, or formed by a featured letter (don’t miss the swarm of "b"s flying by a hot-air balloon). An appealing, harlequin-like girl and an acrobatic ...

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Overview

Sure to charm children and collectors alike, this artful alphabet book promises a new discovery each time one opens its whimsy-filled pages.

"A" is for the amazing abundance of art in this addictive alphabet book! Fine artist Martina Jirankova-Limbrick fills each page with a playful profusion of objects, characters, shapes, and scenes, each one standing for, starting with, or formed by a featured letter (don’t miss the swarm of "b"s flying by a hot-air balloon). An appealing, harlequin-like girl and an acrobatic dog lead a lighthearted journey from A to Z, while a final spread lists words to be found in the artwork, luring readers to return on a search for more hidden surprises.

Illustrations representing each letter of the alphabet reveal a variety of objects for the reader to identify.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Making her children's book debut, Jirankova-Limbrick composes an alphabetical symphony, with multicolored inks, attention to tiny details and a Harlequin child character to conduct the action. Her fastidious illustrations, which feature delicate calligraphy and eschew typeset material, follow no plot other than an A to Z progression; a girl in motley circus attire, with her pet dachshund, appears in every spread to unify the arrangement. For no particular reason, some inspiring letters get four pages in a row. The first of two spreads dedicated to the letter P introduces the acrobat girl as a puppeteer on a playbill; in the second, a theater's floorboards brim with P words (production, perfect, performance, etc.), and the girl and her dog join a procession of puppets (a prince, princess, penguin and pirate) across a proscenium. The letter H sits on a hilly landscape, composed of a vast array of minuscule green H's. Words such as husk, harmony, hurricane and hope sprout like weeds in the grass. The author solves the tricky X problem by hand-lettering a series of words with a gap where X needs to be: "fo... trot," "Me... ico," "tu... edo." The fuzzy-haired, graceful main character kneels next to these oversized words with a big red ink stamp, busily stamping the X's into their proper positions. Jirankova-Limbrick follows a stream-of-consciousness logic, meditating on individual letters and random words in this compact and aptly titled volume. Quirky and engaging minutiae, hidden in plain sight, reward a curious reader. All ages. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Not just another alphabet book, this unusual work should stimulate a child's (and a grownup's) imagination as few alphabet books do. True, there is an apple on the A page and a balloon on the B page, but Jirankova-Limbrick's creative visions for each letter are inventive and inspiring. There is no narrative per se; a little girl dressed in a harlequin costume and her dog are the unifying elements. Together, they travel through a strange and magical world of letters. Particularly fun are the graffiti page for G, the maze drawn inside a huge green M, and the hill covered in green grass constructed from H words, as well as the questions, all answered by Q words. At the end of the book is a long list of objects for children to find. While children enjoy this type of search game, the list is not necessary; the artwork itself is sufficient invitation to return again and again. Highly recommended. 2003, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 10.
— Anne Marie Pace
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-Art overwhelms alphabet in this visually enchanting creation. A charming poppet and a winsome dachshund frolic through vibrant spreads generously sprinkled with letter-appropriate pictures and words in small to teeny-tiny type. Though not appropriate for beginning readers textually, the visuals will suffice while youngsters grow into the accompanying words. Fans of "Where's Waldo" and "I Spy" books will find much to search for, and a list at the end suggests a few things they may have missed. Way too busy and detailed for a group storytime, Artful Alphabet is a dandy size for small hands and one-on-one sharing.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A dachshund and a frizzy-haired child in a clown suit tour an abecedarian series of playscapes in this debut/showcase. Each scene, lettered and inked by hand, is dominated by one or more large letter forms, surrounded by appropriate smaller items; a trail of Dominoes, for instance, leads from a Desert to one Door, as a Doll points the Dog toward another Door labeled "Dragon's Den." Jirankova-Limbrick inventively incorporates many words into her fanciful, sophisticated compositions: some as small identifying labels, others gathered into strings, clumps, even large landscape features. There's no common narrative thread, but each opening invites viewers to create their own scenarios. A small imagination-stretcher-just the ticket for a bit of daydreaming. (Picture book. 7-10, adult)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763621872
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 72
  • Sales rank: 590,596
  • Age range: 3 months - 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.84 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Martina Jirankova-Limbrick was born in the Czech Republic and emigrated to England to study illustration in 1997. She says that her artwork, which has appeared in many exhibitions, galleries, and magazines, is inspired by poetry as well as traditional and modern fairy tales. Of THE ARTFUL ALPHABET, her first children’s book, she says, "I imagined a magic hat discovered by a little girl and her dog, from which letters of the alphabet emerged to create scenes of words. I wanted to be as playful as possible, to show letters not only as flat shapes but as characters."
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