Saturday 24 June 2017

Once Upon an ABC

Once Upon an ABC written by Sophie Masson, illustrated by Christopher Nielsen (Little Hare Books) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781760128432

Reviewed by Liz Ledden

Sophie Masson’s Once Upon an ABC is a stunning ode to folk and fairytales. For every letter of the alphabet is a character from stories past, ranging from the highly recognisable to the more obscure.

There’s Rapunzel and Jack in the Beanstalk, the wily old wolf from Little Red Riding Hood (as G for Grandma, of course!). The Ugly Duckling and Puss in Boots make an appearance, as do mythological creatures such as a Pegasus and Nymph. Certain inclusions may leave readers scratching their heads – Y for Yggdrasil, anyone? However, ensuing discussion and bookish research may open young readers’ eyes to a whole new world of stories and characters they weren’t otherwise familiar with.

Told in an engaging rhyme, this is an ABC with a difference – a collectible homage to legendary tales. Nielsen’s illustrations pop with primary colours and have a timeless, retro style. The endpapers are a typography-lovers’ delight.

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