The creator of An Awesome Book! (2012) and its titularly similar companions offers an alphabet of uplift.
In lines of sometimes forcibly compelled rhyme (“Q is for Quiet / To escape from the madness / R is for Reading / But also for radness”), Clayton blends hand-lettered, characteristically inspirational watchwords and exhortations to dream big, aim high and make the most of the day, the world and life. These he surrounds with a smattering of pictures of unlabeled but common items and animals that are drawn in an engagingly simple, artless way and start with the appropriate letter. (Generally anyway: Viewers will likely puzzle over the guitar on the “A” page, and is the inscrutable lumplet in “C” a Cocoon? A sea Cucumber?) Children may enjoy the intellectual exercise of identifying the tiny images more than winkling personal meaning out of “E is for Everything / under the sun” or “V is for Values / and keeping them true,” but the feel-good tone is catching, and the sentiments make fertile discussion fodder.
Not awe-ful. (Inspirational picture book. 6-8, adult)