A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl series).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Hal Borland (1900-1978), When the Legends Die, and George Selden Thompson (1929-1989), The Cricket in Times Square.
- Best birthday wishes to Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder of Facebook. Read Face by Benjamin Zephaniah and Itâ€™s a Book by Lane Smith.
- Itâ€™s National Chicken Dance Day. Read Chicken Joy on Redbean Road: A Bayou Country Romp by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Melissa Sweet; and Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Dan Santat.
This week we celebrate Children’s Book Week. OurÂ book of the day is one that Carol Rasco from Reading Is Fundamentalâ€”who should be given sainthood for her tireless efforts on behalf of children and readingâ€”recommended to me. Although we know that children want reading to be fun, our preschool books for children often tend to inform rather than entertain. But Maria van Lieshoutâ€™s Backseat A-B-See combines both qualities in equal measure.
The license plate on the front cover of this engaging title says â€śABC*FUN.â€ťÂ Van Lieshout created the book when she noticed how much enjoyment her son found in looking at road signs. She begins this graphically stunning book by asking â€śFrom the backseat, what do you see?â€ť Then readers are treated to a special alphabet, one that they can view while driving along in the car: A for Airport; I for Interstate; L for Library; Q for Quack (a duck sign); X for a â€śChildren Crossingâ€ť sign. Using a deep black background the artist makes sure that the signs stand out brilliantly on the page. The book ends with the â€śWrong Wayâ€ť sign, and readers will agree that theyâ€™ll want to go back and see all these visually exciting pages again.
In the process, of course, they will also learn both the letters of the alphabet and the safety signs. I myself found out that some of these signs were designed by an AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts) team of Seymour Chwast, Roger Cook, and Dan Shanosky and given the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1984. This is why everyone should read preschool booksâ€”because adults can also learn from them.
This has been a fabulous season for preschool books that will turn children into readers. Along with Backseat A-B-See, weâ€™ve had Laura Vaccaro Seegerâ€™s Greenand Erin Steadâ€™s And Then Itâ€™s Spring. This Sunday I reviewed in the New York Times Kelly Binghamâ€™s and Paul O. Zelinskyâ€™s Z Is for Moose. These four books certainly convince me that Reading Is Fun. Since we are in the middle of a new baby boomlet, I am so happy to see that extremely talented creators have been paying attention to the needs of our youngest readers.
Vroom, vroom, vroom. Iâ€™m off in the car to look at signs. I hope you have an entire week celebrating the joy of reading.
Hereâ€™s a page from Backseat A-B-See:
Originally posted May 14, 2012. Updated for .