________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 3 . . . . Ocotober 1, 1999

cover A B C Discovery!

Izhar Cohen.
Vancouver, BC: Raincoast Books, 1998.
61 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 1-55192-172-3.

Subject Headings:
English language-Alphabet-Juvenile literature.
Picture puzzles-Juvenile literature.

Preschool - grade 6 / Ages 4 - 11.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4

image At first glance, A B C Discovery is just another ABC book, albeit a very well-done one. Each pair of facing pages is given over to a single letter of the alphabet. On one of the pages, the letter is presented in both upper and lower case plus in an illustrated upper case form. Accompanying the letter is a listing of objects which begin with that letter and which can be located in the detailed watercolour illustration found on the facing page. The number of items to be discovered range from as few as three for the letters, X, Y and Z, to as many as 39 for S, with the remaining letters averaging about 14 items. Some of the objects are obvious and are easily found, even by very young children, but many, such as C's "cherry" and D's "diamond," will take patient looking by older children.
      The book's surprise, and what elevates it beyond the typical ABC book, comes when readers complete "Z" and think that they're finished with the book. In fact, a new beginning awaits them for, when they turn the page, they are presented with another six multi-part and thematically organized word puzzles: animal, people, word, science, sports and unusual puzzles. Using the book's lists of objects and illustrations, readers are invited to respond to questions, such as, "Where can you see two balls but only one racket?" or "Lots of men in this book have a mustache, but only five have a beard? Can you find them?" An answer key is provided on the book's final page. Though the picture book format of A B C Discovery! appropriately suggests a young audience, the layered approach to its contents makes it usable throughout the elementary grades and even into middle/junior high.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature in the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364