Thursday 9 May 2024


Alphabetter by Maura Pierlot, illustrated by Jorge Garcia Redondo (Affirm Press) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9781922863942

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Learning the alphabet has never been more inspiring! From A for adventurous to Z for zestful, each letter is accompanied by a positive personal virtue to which kids can aspire, as well as a simple description of the trait (which is particularly helpful for the trickier words, such as optimistic and resilient). A question at the end of every page encourages readers to proactively better themselves.

Maura Pierlot’s selection of words emphasises the value of making sensible decisions and being the best person possible. If children mess up, then that’s fine – as long as they think about their actions and choose a more appropriate path next time. Maura’s language is perfect for four- to eight-year-olds, as it explains the sometimes abstract concepts in an engaging and child-friendly manner.

A kaleidoscope of colour sambas across the spreads, reflecting the can-do attitude of the text. In a visual nod to I for inclusive, Jorge Garcia Redondo’s images feature children of all races, religions and abilities – and readers are sure to find themselves somewhere among the pages. The eye-catching and exuberant cartoon style will keep kids entertained as they seek out every detail.

Alphabetter emboldens children to be the change they wish to see. If they want to live in a kind, honest and tolerant world, then they must first nurture these beneficial attributes – and many others – within themselves. In this way, the alphabet becomes a syllabary of self-growth.

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