Monday, 10 August 2009

In awe of alphabet books

Today's post is a combination of 'the children's book that I'd really really like, for me and not the children' thread that I've been attempting to update weekly of late AND the result of some online research into Alphabet books.
An Alphabet book is something I'd really like to do. To complete an entire 26 letters in rubbish would be a pretty cool achievement but ridiculously time consuming at a period of my life where time seems to be sucked out of the air in some kind of black hole every time I turn on the computer. Still. It's on the Wallop 'To Do list' and so I've enjoyed seeing whats already out there and how they compare.
Every child needs an alphabet book, so they're an ever present feature on the book shop shelves and rightly so. The good ones are just.... beautiful and inspiring and wonderful objects that will be kept and treasured and passed on down the generations. The bad ones are shockingly so and pumped out to feed the ever growing heap of cheap and nasty looking books that sit next to the sprouts in supermarkets these days. Having said that, even the 'bad' alphabet books are still to be admired on many levels. They've achieved publication for starters! They must be marketable objects, and it's simply because children can't fail to find something in those 26 letters, to relate to and love and seek out time after time. Even if's just 'their own' letter.
Alphabet books therefore, absolutely, my latest inspiration.
My very favourite at the moment, (I keep finding more) is Christopher Wormells beautiful Alphabet of Animals. It was his first book for children, apparently An Alphabet of Animals, started as a series of simple and colourful illustrations for his son, and eventually grew into a book that took the prestigious Graphics Prize at the Bologna International Children's Book Fair in 1991.

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