Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Published by McSweeney’s
This is an ABC book with a difference. The text is a-day-in-the-life story composed entirely of phrases with words that begin with A, B and C:
“All Begins Cheerily. Amusing Breakfast Chatter. Adorable Baby Coos... (Alas Book Concludes)”
Far from being a clinical adherence to form, the text is whimsical and warm.
The illustrations echo the selective word choice by constraining colour to two or three colours in various shades to each page eg. the blues and peaches of the cover; green and yellow; pinks and blue/grey. The book is awash with patterns, layering and stylised images, and combined with the mat feel of the pages, the effect is retro and rustic.
This is a book to inspire word play and investigation, as ABC objects are hidden in the visual narrative, with a complete list given at the end of the book in the “Afterword (Brief Commentary)”. Alas, the glitch for Australian readers is the inclusion of a cantaloupe for what we might call a rockmelon.
The paper dust jacket cover doubles as a charming fold out poster of colourful patchwork style squares with a retro feel.
This is a warm and playful book that will inspire conversation, investigation and imagination.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator: Gracia Lam
Title: Awake Beautiful Child
Published: February 2016