Monday 3 August 2015


Alpha by Isabelle Arsenault (Walker Books)
HC RRP $27.95
ISBN 9781406361834

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Isabelle Arsenault, award-winning Canadian illustrator of the outstanding Jane, the Fox and Me turns to the NATO phonetic alphabet/ International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, used in emergency services, to create a visual feast while educating children and adults. Its superb and eye-catching cover prepares the reader for the content.

Highly creative, Arsenault has taken each letter and produced an unforgettable image. The letter B for Bravo is presented by a beautiful pair of hands clapping. F for Foxtrot has a pair of dancers dressed in 1920s style dancing the foxtrot. I for India uses an image of an elephant. K for Kilo has a thick slice of chocolate cake on a plate. O for Oscar depicts a divine evening gown fit for the Oscars. R for Romeo claims the dagger that was used in Romeo and Juliet. T for Tango has a brilliant red and black dancing shoe.

Each letter is a surprise. It’s a game to guess how the picture associates with the letter and word.

This is a brilliant concept; highly imaginative and attractive. Definitely a collector’s book, it will be enjoyed by curious minds and people of all ages that find beauty in all things. It’s ideal for picture book lovers of all ages beginning from the 7+ age group.

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