With sharp eyes, endless patience and vivid imagination, McGuirk seeks and finds rocks in the shapes of alphabet letters and items representing those letters.
Using these finds and some inventive photography, she has created a most unusual alphabet book. The opening spread lays out all the amazingly accurate stone letters (some uppercase, some lowercase) on a background of soft, natural, earthy beige. Each letter is given its own page, and some have a double-page spread. The letter-shaped rock names the shape—as in “e is for elephant”—and the remarkable rock shapes either stand alone or are given props. The “ghost” rocks float eerily on a black background, while “K is for kick” aims a foot-shaped rock at a bright-orange ball. The seahorse floats among seaweed, and a rock mitten is paired with one made of wool. Some of the more conceptual references stretch the imagination a bit, and little ones may need some explanation. For “U is for up,” two animal-shaped rocks play on a seesaw; too bad there was no umbrella or unicorn rock to be found. The ever-difficult “x” is the only disappointment; “x is for xoxo” depicts a pudgy figure that kind of resembles two people kissing, but this may be a stretch for children. An author’s note provides additional information about McGuirk’s dedicated collection process.
Begs to be pored over again and again. (Alphabet book. 3-10)