It’s about time someone kicked the alphabet book genre up a notch. Augie to Zebra by Caspar Babypants and Kate Endle raises the bar with a fresh approach that celebrates diversity by including boys and girls, different skin colors, and multicultural names for the children illustrated in the book. Plus each page demonstrates a fine use of alliteration. I mean, is anyone against alliteration? Absolutely not!
Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a child’s name, an activity, and an animal–e.g., “Pasquale paints with the panda” and “Komiko kicks with the kangaroo.” The textured, collage illustrations (which are just delightful) include additional items that begin with the featured letter on each page. So if you’re on the U page (“Umberto Unites Unicorns”), you’ll find a unicycle, umbrella, and a ukulele within the main illustration. This makes for a fun what-else-do-you-see-that-starts-with-this-letter game as you read. The book also has a little cheat sheet of these items at the back of the book, so you’ll know you’ve found every last one.
We get it, right? A is for apple and B is for ball, so hooray for Caspar Babypants and Kate Endle for figuring out how to make the alphabet cool again.
A couple notes before you have a look at the book spreads–
- Caspar Babypants (aka Chris Ballew) is the lead singer of the Presidents of the United States (remember them?) and he’s also a great children’s musician whose folksy songs are smart, catchy, and fun.
- If you like the illustrations in Augie to Zebra, check out Kate Endle’s Etsy shop. You’ll find prints, books, greeting cards, and other fun things.