Sunday, February 9, 2014

Alphabetical Sydney by Antonia Pesenti and Hillary Bell


I have talked about the appeal of Alphabet books in previous posts.  I do enjoy both the predicable structure and the surprise of the inclusions and Alphabetical Sydney is no exception.

A is for Amusement park - it is Sydney so this is our iconic Luna Park
B is for Bats in Centennial Park
C is for Cicadas which is perfect because this year they have been so noisy
L is for Lawn bowls
S is for sunburn
V is for vinegar - you will need to read Alphabetical Sydney to see how this fits in!

My favourite is the page :

"Sweet Frangipanis - their summery scent,
Rubbery leaves and their branches all bent;
Falling on footpaths and filling the gutter,
White as vanilla and yellow as butter."

Our first copy of this book was a gift from a student.  I immediately passed it on to a teacher and she loved it so much she has created a whole teaching unit featuring this special book.  Every part of the book design is brilliant - the thicker paper, landscape shape, cloth binding, scrumptious language and the almost tactile illustrations.  I am going to predict this book might even reach our CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia) short list for 2014.  I certainly hope so.

I would like to quote an other extract.  How exciting to find such a unashamedly Australian book - it would make a fabulous gift to someone overseas.

"N is for nature strip, jewel of the 'burb,
Two feet of grass between footpath and kerb.
Garbage night : roll out your red wheelie bin - 
But watch out for bindis, they're sharp as a pin!"

Do you need a translation?  'burb = suburb, bin = trash can, bindis = very sharp grass prickles

Here is a terrific web site about this book and its creation and creators.  I do wish I had seen the display of illustrations.


1 comment:

Brona Joy said...

I was invited to the launch of this book and felt very privileged to see all the artwork on display.
I can't wait to see what they come up with next.