Fans of L.M. Montgomery will enjoy the whimsical art and brief text inspired by the Anne of Green Gables novels.
Hill is well acquainted with the characters and scenes. She designed the covers and interior art for the 2014 reissue of the series. As she did in Anne’s Colors and Anne’s Numbers (2018), she reduces iconic scenes familiar to Anne Shirley’s many fans to preschool concepts. Commonplace emotions that can be summarized in one word (“angry,” “scared,” “happy,” “surprised”) become images recognizable to even very young children. More abstract concepts (“calm,” “brave,” “hopeful,” and the oh-so-Anne “depths of despair”) may not be comprehensible to children under 3. Hill’s appliqué technique uses scraps of fabric and visible stitching to create an old-fashioned feel but does not convey the subtleties of complex emotions. As in the original stories, all the characters are white; Anne’s braids are orange bundles of embroidery floss. Anne’s Alphabet (published simultaneously) pairs each letter with a character or plot development from the original novels. Adults with fond memories of the series will be delighted by “K is for kindred spirit” or “L is for Lake of Shining Waters.” Young children will just be mystified.
This premature introduction to a classic character is little more than an excellent bit of marketing to eventual consumers of the original. (Board book. 2-4)