“A is for Avocado. Bet you thought I’d say apple! Both are fruit because they grow on trees.”
So starts this unusual alphabet book, which includes a wonderful collection of fruit from all around the world—common ones such as orange, raspberry, and lemon as well as fruit with which readers might be less familiar, such as dragon fruit, yumberry and “XIGUA, which is pronounced ‘she gwah’ and is a Chinese and African name for watermelon.” Each letter of the alphabet gets one page, with the letter and the name of the fruit in uppercase, an illustration of the fruit in vivid colors, and some tasty facts and/or commentary about it. Each sentence is written in an unnecessary mixture of typefaces, which may make it difficult for children to distinguish individual letters. “Q IS FOR QUINCE WHICH is too hard and sour to eat RAW. BUT if you cook IT, IT turns PINK and MAKES a good sauce, jelly OR JAM.” Bold colors, textures, and smiling faces make the fruit look spirited and playful but not particularly tempting, and they may not represent the actual fruit particularly well. Companion book Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet is very similar in look and feel, with such unusual vegetables as dandelion, fiddleheads, and watercress.
There is so much interesting information in these books readers may find the problems easy to live with. Have fun with your fruits—and vegetables! (Board book. 2-5)