Friday, March 13, 2009

Review: The Book of Shadowboxes

Author/Illustrator:  Laura L. Seeley
Review Copy Provided by:  Peachtree Publishers

About the Book: Welcome to Laura Seeley's enchanting world of shadowboxes, where the ABCs spring magically to life. Each shadowbox is filled with richly colorful creatures, objects, and people drawn in Seeley's intricately engaging style. From smiling acorns and alphabet stew to zany old zeroes with nothing to do, the vibrant illustrations and bouncing verses delight and instruct.

As a special treat, the little guide, Shadow, follows each letter and poses an intriguing mystery to solve in every shadowbox. At the back of the book, Seeley also provides a key to all the other hidden treasures collected in the shadowboxes.

My Review:  I absolutely love alphabet books.  I mean, it's like an obsession; maybe it's the early childhood teacher in me, but I am drawn to them.  This one is full of rhyme and fun!  I love the way Shadow introduces the book to the reader,

"My name is Shadow,
And I'll take you places
Through alphabet boxes
With smiling faces.
Each letter greets you,
With pictures and rhyme,
Then I'll ask you to spot
Something extra-of mine!
Look a bit harder
To find even more,
And discover a world of things
When you explore..."

Don't you just love that?  It is it's own little poem.  Each page is like that, but each page deals with only one letter of the alphabet, from A to Z.  Each page is full of rhyme and alliteration.  The poem is on one side of the page, and then on the other is the shadowbox full of cute little pictures that all start with that letter.  Many of the items are mentioned in the poem, but there are extras that children will have fun discovering.  Also, on every page, Shadow asks if you can find his hidden picture.  It is delightfully fun and a book that I'm sure children will enjoy over and over again.  Here is an example of the C page

Clouds and a castle
Begin with a C,
Some cinnamon circles
And a cat in a tree.
A candy cane crowd
And a couple of clowns,
Then some colorful crayons
Capped with little gold crowns.

The illustrations are just amazing!  Every time I look at them, I see something new.  Butler has given this alphabet book the combination of Where's Waldo and I Spy, with his shadowboxes.  All of the objects have been animated with the cutest facial expressions.  Kids are sure to love this!  As a teacher, I would definitely use it in the classroom. 

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