'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 5 December 2013

Review: Alphabet City Melbourne

Look up, look down, look all around
The Alphabet’s all over town
It’s hidden in the scenery
The letters of the A-B-C!

Are you ready to take an alphabetical tour of Melbourne with your child? From ‘A’ found in the form of the sculpture ‘Vault’ by Ron Robertson-Swann to ‘Z’ in the girders of the Swann Street Rail Bridge in Richmond, artist and photographer Maree Coote takes us on a journey around the sights of Melbourne in this wonderful board book.

Each double page features one brightly coloured page with an upper and lower case printed letter of the alphabet (not a foundation-style font) while the opposing page is a photograph of a building, structure, sculpture or significant feature in Melbourne with that particular letter ‘hidden’ in the image. For example, in the cover image above, the ‘O’ is the clock face at Flinders Street Station.

Alphabet City Melbourne is a book that inspires children to look at their world with fresh eyes, to see shapes and forms in familiar buildings and structures and to actively engage with their visual environment. 

I love the concept of Alphabet City Melbourne and I think it has an appeal that extends beyond the toddler and preschooler audience that the board book form implies. I love the idea of going on an alphabet hunt in my own city with my children and have plans to do so during the coming school holidays, even though my children are well beyond the toddler years. I think we’ll turn it into a scavenger hunt with each of us trying to complete an alphabet over the course of the day.

Anticipating, and actively encouraging, such photographic adventures, Maree Coote has established the Alphabet City Project. You can submit photos from your own city to create an online alphabet collection from cities around the world.

Alphabet City Melbourne is ideal for young children, aspiring young photographers and anyone who loves the sights and cultural brightness of Melbourne.

Find out more about Maree Coote and her Melbourne Style projects in our recent KBR interview with Maree.

Title: Alphabet City Melbourne
Author/Illustrator: Maree Coote
Publisher: MelbourneStyle Books, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: October 2013
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9780975704790
For ages: 2+
Type: Board Book