April 27, 2012

My First ABC

My First ABC
The NY Metropolitan Museum of Art
0-3 Preschool LB Kids 32 pp.
 978-0316068178 Board $8.99
Non Fiction

The Metropolitan Museum of Art had great success with Museum ABC, an alphabet book featuring each letter of the alphabet paired with a quartet of famous works containing a word associated with that letter. It's a beautiful book, but one more suitable to older preschoolers and kindergartners already familiar with the alphabet and able to grasp the sometimes abstract concepts pictured in the artwork (light, zigzag etc.). My First ABC is a simplified version of Museum ABC, with artwork specifically chosen to illustrate the letters to children just learning their ABC's. Each letter is shown in both capital and lowercase forms next to the representative word, so that connections between the images and letters are easy to make. Instead of the panel of four paintings for each letter featured in Museum ABC, My First ABC features only one image per letter making it visually easier to see and distinguish each object. But though the format is simplified, My First ABC is not dumbed down - famous works by Cezanne (A for apples) and Matisse (D for dancers) share space with ancient Egyptian paintings (H for hair), exposing even the littlest ones to the artwork and culture on display in the museum. My First ABC is a beautiful book and an excellent adaptation of Museum ABC well suited to the cognitive capabilities of very little ones. Highly recommended, it teaches the ABC's to modern toddlers with style and classical grace.

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