The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s(the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell; illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. 2017. Pen and ink, pencil, watercolor and spot digital color. Published by Little, Brown and Company.
Brief summary: A cat ran out the door of a house and encounters an alligator. The alligator joins the cat to meet a bear. The cat, alligator and the bear come across a chicken. The chicken joins the trio and soon there is a dragon. The story continues with the five of them. The adventurous story is wordless with only the capital letter and small letter of the alphabet on the page along with something that begins with the letter. Aa Bb Cc
Comments: Story without words. There is a list in the back of all of the letters and corresponding words. I like that this ABC book is different by not telling the reader what the letter is about on the page. Surprise: It may not be a noun.
Sidenote: I was thrown by the ‘s of ABC’s when I first saw the title of the book. ABCs was taught to me as being plural. I did some research online and found that sometimes ‘s is used to mean a plural to avoid confusion.
ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet by Juana Medina; illustrated by Juana Medina. 2017. Digital illustrations and photographs of a variety of pastas, herbs, and cheeses. Published by Viking Books for Young Readers.
Brief summary: This book of alliteration is a fun and whimsical alphabet story of the many variants of pasta. Students will enjoy the whimsical illustrations of pastas.
Comments: You may recognize the author/illustrator from the 2016 picture book called 1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book. Teachers and Teacher-Librarians could bring in the various pastas to share with children after reading the book to them. Students could match the pasta to the photos in the book. I have no doubt that a “no-eating” rule would have to be incorporated to this activity. A Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper) pasta recipe is in the back. I would like to have seen a pronunciation chart in the back too of the various pastas. I plan to stop and go to the online dictionary and type in the pasta variant. Students will repeat the word back after the computer voice says it correctly. This would add a little information literacy as well to the mix. This would make a good addition to the concept/ABC collection in the library.
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