'L is for Lincoln --
An Illinois Alphabet'
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is for Lincoln -- An Illinois Alphabet," by Kathy-jo Wargin,
illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuysen, Sleeping Bear Press, 37
pages, ages pre-K to 9.
Review by Marlene Perry
We all know that "A is for apple and Z
is for zebra" -- but did you know that "A" is also for "arrowheads"
and "Z" is for the "Lincoln Park Zoo"? These are the
beginning and ending pages of this multifaceted alphabet book, with
simple rhyming verse and many detailed facts in between. But how
this book is presented is quite interesting: The text reinforces the
standard alphabet identification between letter and word but with a
"local" twist. Each letter of the alphabet has a verse explaining
the lesson for the preschooler, along with a realistic illustration.
The letters are all descriptive of Illinois locations, animals and
historic people, which can spark recognition for a child living in
the city of Chicago, in the southern tip of the state or somewhere
in the farmlands in between.
Each letter also has a sidebar of more
detailed information of dates and figures suitable for the young
self-reader. This age child will also enjoy the colorful drawings of
familiar sites, from the Chicago cityscape to the John Deere combine
in a field to the nearby Springfield Capitol building. Most of these
readers will identify something or someplace about Illinois so they
can say "I've seen that!" An added point of interest for this age
reader is the "Prairie Full of Facts" questions and answers on the
[to top of second column in
The layout of this book enables parents
to read only the simple verse to the very young child or to reveal
the more detailed information for their older one. Even the adults
who read this book to their children will discover some new and
interesting facts about our great state of Illinois, possibly
initiating a field trip with the young ones to discover more.
"L is for Lincoln" is not a standard
beginning alphabet book with single-item illustrations but is a
creative variation for those children ready to venture beyond apples
Wargin lives in Michigan, enjoys
writing about all of the Great Lakes states, and has another
children's book entitled "M is for Mitten." Sleeping Bear Press
publishes other state alphabet books, as well as "A is for America
-- An American Alphabet," for further reading.
information, please visit the library at 725 Pekin St. or call (217)
Public Library District]