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Alphabet Everywhere
Elliott Kaufman

Abbeville Kids
May 29, 2012 / ISBN 978-0789211156
Ages 3 and up / Education and Reference

Reviewed by Beth E. McKenzie

In the Preface, Mr. Kaufman tells us to "Explore the world in a new way" and describes the hidden alphabet he photographed in and around New York City. That phrase set off a musical memory for me and I enjoyed my time viewing alphabetic images to Mac Davis singing Stop and Smell the Roses in the back of my mind.

After the Preface there are no more words, and we are treated to five pictures of each letter, A-Z, until the end when there is a description for each picture. For a few shots I had to turn my head a little, others made me laugh out loud at the cleverness and a few even made me sit in studied reverence at the beauty of it all.

My favorites are:
P5 - Fiddlehead fern sprout
J4 - Carved limestone lion mane
G4 - Chain lock on fence
E2 - Autumn oak leaf
V5 - Split tree trunk
Z2 - Formation in marbleized bluestone

I did get a big surprise though. This is a children's book, for very young children. I didn't realize that when I selected it and it wasn't apparent while I absorbed the sights. It is suggested for ages 3 and up, which is the time that everything starts coming together for a child to be able to use abstraction, meaning if they know what an "A" is they will be able to see "A-like" characteristics in unrelated objects. The surprise was that I enjoyed the images so much that I plan on using this as a coffee table book for all my friends to enjoy-whether they have kids or not!

Reviewed 2012