An alphabetical look (of the first three letters) at childlike activities throughout the day.
Beginning with a morning stretch and ending with a flick of the bedroom light switch, readers follow various children in their daily routines. The entire text is composed of three-word phrases that begin with the consecutive letters A, B, and C. Some are simple lists: “Apples, Bananas, Cantaloupes” at the breakfast table, or “Ants, Butterflies, Caterpillars” during a walk. But others are beautiful reminders (“Always Be Curious”) or silly words of wisdom (“Avoid Blinking—Cheese!” during a photograph). Each word is no doubt carefully chosen, but the illustrations far outshine the text. Lam’s delicate blocks of muted pastel color and wide-eyed, Caucasian children evoke wonder and curiosity. (If there is diversity here, it is extremely subtle.) Various objects beginning with A, B, or C are scattered throughout the layered illustrations; children are encouraged to go back and spot them (a list at the end suggests they delve deep and find “aperture” and “constellation”). Unfortunately, the book is constricted by its form rather than flourishing from it, and it never achieves narrative flow. Nevertheless, a small, clever trick such as constructing an ABC phrase may be just enough to delight.
Albeit Beautiful, Contrived. (Picture book. 4-7)