Fasten your seat belts: here’s another alphabet book featuring airplanes. Does this one take flight over the others?
The geometric shapes and colorful graphic images make this one quite attractive. One or two words are assigned to each letter, displayed in both upper and lower cases, usually two letters to a double-page spread. Some words are natural choices—“Aa is for ace. / Bb is for biplane”—while others will require explanation. “Cc is for carrier. / Dd is for deck” shows a plane taking off from an aircraft carrier. “Kk is for Kitty Hawk” occupies a double-page spread of its own and depicts a triumphant Wilbur aboard the Wright Flyer with Orville running along behind in the sand. Olivera has mixed success for the tricky letters, offering up “quick,” “UFO” (paired playfully if rather opaquely for the audience with “vanished”), “X axis,” and “zeppelin.” Most spreads include humans interacting with the key object. Though there is no legend, there are enough interesting terms to hold kids’ attention, especially those who are fascinated with airplanes. Variations in perspective and the mood of the artwork keep the two-dimensional scenes from feelng static while retaining the posterlike style.
This title lines up between a realistic approach and a comic one, soaring along nicely. (Picture book. 4-7)