WORK by Kellen Hatanaka


An Occupational ABC
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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Need inspiration for career day? Here’s one solution.

Hatanaka sets himself a challenge: pairing each of the 26 letters of the alphabet with an occupation. The one-word text naming the occupation is set against a graphically clean, deceptively simple scene that is representative of the type of work. A large letter is incorporated into the picture. B stands for “butcher.” A man wearing an apron chases two raccoons that have run off with a string of sausages; a large B appears in the row of shop fronts in the background. L for “lumberjack” depicts a man swinging an axe at the top of a large letter L as a beaver gnaws at the bottom part. Most of the choices are unexpected and far from elementary: F for “forest ranger,” K for “K-9 officer,” N for “naval architect,” W for “wedding singer” and X for “xenologist.” A two-page key of “Want Ads” in the backmatter offers one-sentence descriptions for each career, but they tend to be rather too clever and are not always particularly helpful: “Ice cream vendor. This is a cool job with sweet benefits”; “Xenologist. This is a job that’s really out of this world."

Nevertheless, the sophisticated design and use of white space give the book flair, and it can be an effective springboard for use in the classroom. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-55498-409-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2014


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