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A Is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet
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A Is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  79 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet is a remarkable journey of discovery about art and language through painting, collage, and sculpture by Caldecott Honor artist Stephen T. Johnson. With literal renderings of each letter, complete with witty titles and playful, alliterative captions, Johnson's abstract art forges connections between words, objects, and ideas.

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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Nov 25, 2014 Miriam marked it as to-read
Shelves: picture, library-lack, art
Aww, library doesn't have this. Guess I will read "A" is for Artist instead. There are a surprising number of books with that title. Mostly abc books, but also some erotica. Don't get mixed up when ordering!
Michelle McBeth
Dec 09, 2015 Michelle McBeth rated it really liked it
SUMMARY: Each letter is of the alphabet is hidden within a piece of abstract art created by the author. Each letter also has an alliterative description such as: "Fourteen hundred and fifty-five fake French fries were flipped, flicked, and flung onto a full-size field of faint fuchsia" for the letter F.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The author/artist uses a variety of abstract methods to create each art piece. Each one is unique and interesting in and of itself before you even begin to look for the hidden lette
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Aug 20, 2011 Randie D. Camp, M.S. rated it really liked it
Alliteration at its best! Every letter of the alphabet is represented with an image of an art piece and an amazingly, awesome, artfully alliterated description. Incredible.
Jul 01, 2012 Alessandra rated it it was ok
Shelves: art, children-s
What a disappointment. Ever since my first child was born, I have wished for some really art-centered books for small children. There is so much wonderful art out there to show them and to spark interest.

This book does not do that.

In my eyes, it has two fatal flaws.

First, it uses abstract art, which is the least challenging and, in my eyes, the least interesting of all art styles.

Second, all of the art was made by the author, who has created a wide range of lukewarm pastiches of different kinds
Kristy Sikora
Oct 03, 2010 Kristy Sikora rated it liked it
Shelves: abc
When choosing some alphabet books at the library for my daughter, I stumbled upon this one and checked it out without even opening it to preview. I saw it was by Stephen Johnson and ASSUMED it would be good. I was wrong. The author's Alphabet City book is by far better, but to be fair I am not much on abstract art. It was also not appropriate for my two year old daughter. This book uses alliteration to make the reader understand the picture (abstract art). The book could not be used for young ch ...more
Michael Duffey
Feb 22, 2014 Michael Duffey rated it liked it
Recommended to Michael by:
Shelves: 642-shelf
I really enjoyed reading this book! I thought it was different from many of the other alphabet books out there. The abstract art appealed to me the most. Though, at times, I had trouble locating or finding the letter within the illustrations. The text that was included within the book also included some playful rhymes. The intended age range is that of PreK-K. I could use this book to teach phonics. The abstract art was brilliant, but as I said before some of them were rather confusing and hard ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Halea rated it it was amazing
This book has abstract art pieces on each page. The words used are descriptions of the art
artwork using the letter of the alphabet. This could be a great book for learning describing
words and identifying with art. It is more abstract and probably more for older elementary students.
Mar 08, 2016 Garren rated it it was ok
An alphabet book that tries to cram as many alliterative terms into the construction and description of artworks as possible. I was more impressed than interested.
Sep 10, 2016 Shirleynature rated it really liked it
Stephen T. Johnson pairs vivid imagery with witty alliteration that vibrates with energy and nourishes my soul. An ALA Notable and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year; checkout more rich, illuminating books by this author!
Sep 19, 2009 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Wow! This is an amazing book and unlike any other alphabet book I have ever experienced. Abstract art is combined with passages full of alliteration. This book encourages transmediation between visual art and the written language. Although concept books like this are typically targeted towards preschool children, this one would actually be even better for older elementary readers.

2008; Concept Book; ALA Notable Books for Children, New York Times Best Illustrated
Aug 11, 2012 Courtney rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It was creative and interesting with alliterative entries for each letter and beautiful, thought-provoking abstract art. However, I think the language is definitely geared toward an older child. This is not your typical alphabet book. This I think would be better suited to learning about art and alliteration than the alphabet.
Mar 24, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: t-l-306
The pictures within this book are amazing. This alphabet book is more directed towards older students as it includes art vocabulary such as arrangement, blueberry blues, camouflage, etc. However, this book could be used for various grade levels for different purposes. For example, images could be used as references for art activities.
Jan 05, 2016 Molly rated it it was ok
I liked this for what it was- pictures of alphabet-themed contemporary art; but it's really not something I see a kid getting into- even with hyper-pretentious parents, I think it's a stretch. So I thought it was fine- but call it what it is- a picture book for adults, rather than put it in the kids section.
Jan 16, 2009 Molly rated it it was ok
This book is written way above any reader in this format. I would have liked it more if he had not created the art himself but found the letters in exhisting art out there. Kids would loose interest when trying to understand the words listed to describe the work. Very frustrating. Ages 6+
Apr 08, 2014 Mckinley rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, art, abc
The letters are taken from titles of art pieces. Great intro to a diversity of modern artwork
Feb 25, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: pb, middle
This is for older children. There are very fun witty sentences at the bottom of each page with long long words in them. The art is fun too! I don't think I knew what some of this stuff was in elementary school, but as a fourth grader or so, I would have totally enjoyed it!
Dec 15, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it
Higher level concepts and vocabulary are meshed into this text. I know that the images as well as the words would engage learners. There is also a hidden letter on each page that the reader is encouraged to find. A cool take on a alphabet book.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Definitely more of a coffee table art book than a picture for the very young. But I personally really enjoyed all the surprises and interesting concepts found throughout the book. At times the text is a little trite but that is to be expected.
Feb 14, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing
What a terrific book. Not only does it have the great pictures of letters made from art, it is FULL of alliteration. Terrific to use in a literary device lesson.
Katy Houseman
Feb 23, 2012 Katy Houseman rated it liked it
Shelves: letters, colors, art
This is a art version of an ABC book. It has an example of many different paintings that use each letter of the alphabet. Great for letter recognition.
May 22, 2009 stillme rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, awards
I absolutely adore alliteration! Fantastic pictures...I can only imagine all the ways teachers will use this one.
ALA ALSC Notable 2009.

Feb 08, 2009 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
This book was so fun to read to Carter. He could see most of the letters that were hidden and I couldn't see them.
Oct 10, 2008 Zack rated it liked it
Shelves: j-non-fiction
Fun book, but might be over the heads of early alphabet learners.
Feb 26, 2010 Kali rated it liked it
very creative way to combine learning the alphabet and about art.
Jan 05, 2009 Annie rated it liked it
Shelves: arts-week
great photgraphy and artistic concepts
Jun 02, 2009 Meehan rated it it was amazing
oh, the goodness!
Erin added it
Aug 23, 2016
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EXTREMELY cool book.... UNIQUE VERY 1 3 Dec 02, 2008 08:14PM  

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