An alphabetical tour of all things American, from Abraham Lincoln to zipper.
The uncredited author uses a predicable alphabet-book captioning structure (“B is for Baseball”; “J is for July Fourth”), relying on adult readers to explain the relationships of the various items included to the United States of America. They may well be unable to answer what makes a Ferris wheel American or, even more mystifyingly, a uniform (several military-style uniforms are depicted) or a volcano. A mix of full-page and double-page spreads presents each letter; the letter “E” spread must be rotated 90 degrees to accommodate the height of the Empire State Building. There are some odd pairings when two incongruous images are flush up against each other due to their sequence in the alphabet (chocolate chip cookies and Death Valley?). Many of the scenes are quintessentially American, such as the Liberty Bell and Martin Luther King Jr., while others seem to be have been selected for their initial letter alone. While diverse people are present in many of the group scenes, the New Orleans jazz band looks rather a bit too white, and the Thanksgiving page depicts stereotypical, smiling Native Americans and Pilgrims. The flat, inviting imagery in bold colors and rounded lines will support language development in toddlers learning to name their world and, in this case, their nation.
An accessible if imperfect American album. (Board book. 2-4)