Work: An Occupational ABC by Kellen Hatanaka

IMG_4214Here is a fun ABC book that will knock your socks off. Work: An Occupational ABC takes the whole ABC concept book to a new level and introduces you and your little to all sorts of jobs, some albeit a little quirky but definitely fun. The illustrations are crisp, clean and eye catching. This is a great book to share with your little and open their eyes to different jobs out there.  I mean who doesn’t want to be a ringmaster, a detective or a xenologist! And don’t fret at the end of the book is an adorable little description of each job!

[BH] So honestly I found this book online and had to go to the library and check it out immediately. I knew from the cover that it would be an amazing book. Let’s be honest ABC books sometimes seem to blend all together, they can be all over the place with random words that start with each letter of the alphabet. So when I saw this book and the concept of work and jobs I was so happy. The different occupations are definitely ones that littles will love, and it brings up strange occupations that one might not necessarily think to talk about. I mean if you can get past the beautiful illustrations and the color and make it to the last page where they define each occupation you might explode. The definitions are out of this world adorable, I seriously smiled while reading all of them!

[G] I think that the best part of this book is the illustrations.  They are clear and will help your little decode what each word means.  Which is good because I only like about half of the occupations that are listed.  This is always the problem with alphabet books–letters like X or U or Z are complicated to find words for and sometimes end up being a little out there.  This book, I think, falls into that trap too.  I really don’t like X or V.  However, Hatanka does use some cool occupations that your little will definitely know (and love!) like Ice Cream Vendor.

Part of the reason I did agree to this book was because it was different.  Opening your little up to a world of different jobs can spark their imaginations in ways you wouldn’t expect.  Plus, a fun thing to do would be to talk about the different occupations your little does know already (Garbage man! Fireman! Astronaut!) and see if you can figure out the letter each starts with.

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Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers


Once Upon an Alphabet is a collection of short stories for each letter of the alphabet. Some characters pop up throughout the book and some are unique to their letter.


[BH] To be honest I did not love every single short story in this book but then again there are 27 of them. I do however love books with this type of concept and Oliver Jeffers did a new spin on the A-Z book. My favorite letters in this book are E, N, Q and R. I mean a story about fitting an elephant into an envelope and Robots that steal clouds are just too much. What I love about this type of short story book is that it never gets boring. It is fun to read all at once or over a long period of time. You don’t have to read the book in any order and it still makes sense. Somehow Oliver Jeffers makes all the different characters come to life so quickly that each one feels special! If I were to read this with a little I would let them pick a letter each morning and we would read that poem a couple times that day.

[G] I like this alphabet book for a couple of reasons.  The first is that you don’t HAVE to read the entire book in one sitting if you don’t want! (In fact, it would be a littttttle bit long if you did).  As adults, we know that if our attention starts to wander, we should put the book down and regroup.  This could mean not picking the book up again until later—a couple hours, the next day, whenever really.  And we know this is OK! Kids need to learn this too! It’s OK if attentions start to wander during books! Sometimes modelling is the best way to teach good habits. This book lends itself quite well to that.  Each story is quite short, and can be read alone.  However, the other reason I like this book is because the stories all work very well together too! If you want to read the whole book, you’ll find surprises throughout the book that connect each letter.  In fact, I think the illustrations will become more rewarding the more you look at them! You’ll find new things each time.

[G] Speaking of the illustrations, they are fantastic! Lots of attention to detail and just the right amount of color to keep them interesting.

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