This morning as I was
sitting in the aisles and reading shelving books at Junior's school library, I came across a beautiful volume of alphabet poems. I knew this husband-and-wife team's work from a later picture book, Quilt Counting, which is equally appealing. In the abecedarian book, each letter is represented by a quilt square, and each poem is a riddle, containing clues to what an accompanying illustration shows. With one or two exceptions, four to six year olds should be able to guess the answers quickly from James Ransome's vivid pictures. Take "T," for example:
Push Pull Plow Plant
Trudging through the land
Heave Haul Heft Heap
A farmer's helping hand
Looking at the illustration, a young listener can tell immediately identify the machine plowing rows of earth: tractor! Of course.
In keeping with the quilt theme, the book's setting is rural, and it evokes a warm-colored, Vermonty-looking life: apples, cows, fresh eggs, jack o'lanterns, and brilliant yellow leaves. I have to return Quilt Alphabet to the library next week, but it's one I'll definitely pick up again for a baby gift or kindergartener's birthday present.
For more verse talk among the children's book bloggers, see the Poetry Friday roundup at Karen Edmisten's place.