A FARMER'S ALPHABET by Mary Azarian

A FARMER'S ALPHABET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like C. B. Falls' ABC Book, a handsome illustrated alphabet pure-and-simple (and also oversize: 8 3/4 x 13 3/8)--intended, in Azarian's words, to ""celebrate some of the rural traditions that still are observed in New England today."" But she has also managed, in these full-page black-and-white woodcuts, to avoid the merely quaint or picturesque--and now and again to inject some drama and humor: Pumpkin features a jack o' lantern (somewhat perilously perched on a porch rail) but also two trick-or-treaters, one of them a skeleton; Quilt (reminiscent of Antonio Frasconi, or even more of his wife Leona Pierce) is predominantly, and rightly, a study in pattern--but behind the quilt are the head and foot of a woman pinning it to a line. Some of the images (Lambs, Toad) are totemic: Leonard Baskin-like without the dark undertones. Farm, a study in intersecting textures and nestled forms, is the prototypical woodcut evocation of a pastoral homestead. Dog--a rangy, shaggy beast snoozing in an overstuffed armchair--will bring a quick smile and, with its bounty of pattern and detail, repay many a return look. The alphabet letters and the words are in a contrasting deep raspberry, and the book as a whole has both integrity and appeal.

Pub Date: June 25th, 1981
ISBN: 087923394X
Publisher: Godine