Arbeat Publishers

Caribbean Alphabet

Written by Mark Greenwood, illus. Frané Lessac
Macmillan/UK Tambourine (William Morrow)/USA Letterbox Library/UK
1994 Notable Trade Book in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
USA Book of the Month Club USA

Caribbean islands sparkle in the sun in this exuberant, luxuriantly illustrated abecedary. Alphabetically ordered vocabulary presented at the bottom of each page ("airport, arrivals, airplane, agouti") prompt the reader to explore bustling scenes; like the words, some of the depicted activities are familiar (kite flying), some are not (limbo dancing). Unusual terms (hibiscus, Junkanoo) are explained in a pictorial glossary at the back of the book. The chosen words reflect the importance of nature; fruit, animals and plants predominate. Groupings of words help with sound recognition and issue implicit invitations to create sentences and even stories. Lessac's (Caribbean Carnival) illuminates the naive freshness of her childlike gouaches with an intense palette. Each picture has its own little narrative on this celebratory island tour--fun, fluid and imaginative. Ages 4-up.

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