Young readers will be absorbed by the richly hued, mouth-watering illustrations. Aside from priming the sweet tooth, these diverse and educational pictures will also give kids plenty to discuss with adults, and the multiethnic figurines, add entertainment value with their fun expressions and engaging mannerisms. Novel words like “quince” and “granita” elevate the text’s vocabulary and will spark interest in new recipes and confections, and even tried-and-true favorites incorporate unconventional ingredients (think dark chocolate highlighted as a main component in doughnuts). The authors even make “X” interesting: “xylocarp cupcakes” are displayed, with an accompanying definition that clarifies, “xylocarp–a fruit with a hard outer shell.”
Although dessert is abundantly fêted, and readers will be intrigued and tantalized by the authors’ creative selections, this alphabet celebration is best consumed by young children just starting to show an interest in reading. The concept stays minimalistic throughout, and some older readers may wish for more detailed recipes. However, the educational value of unfamiliar culinary lingo will please adults (and possibly inspire some kitchen experimentation), and the book accomplishes the welcome goal of offering a fresh–and notably sweet–method of teaching the ol’ ABCs.
Takeaway: A bakery-inspired alphabet picture book, with innovative desserts featured for every English letter.
Great for fans of: Keith Baker’s LMNO Peas, Lisa Frenkel Riddiough’s Letters to Live By: An Alphabet Book with Intention.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: A-