M Is For Medicine (Veronica Goodman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is M Is For Medicine, written by Veronica Goodman and illustrated by Nicole Jones Sturk, fourth in a series of profession-based alphabet books.

Just like the format of L Is For Law and E Is For Economics before it, each letter is given an element of medicine to illustrate – A is for ambulance, B is for bandage, and so on. Accompanying each subject is a cheerful illustration, often employing a clever visual gag to get a chuckle out of adult readers, particularly those in the medical field; for instance, depicting (I is for) interns as a gaggle of wailing infants, or a guiltily grinning child and her pup in a bathroom, both covered in bandaids. By Z (is for Zoom In, as with a microscope), little readers will have learned some of the lingo of the medical field.

This was a natural progression of this series, and I was happy to see it – there will always be a need for books that demystify the medical world for nervous little patients, and this book is a great resource for that. Showing smiling personnel, brightly colored spaces, and even the lighter, more humorous side of the medical field, little ones can learn a little more about their doctors’ and nurses’ world along with practicing their ABCs. Sturk’s bubbly characters are still refreshingly diverse, and a page that depicts D is for Doctor as a group of men and women of varied ages and ethnicities is great; I only wish the same had been done for N is for Nurse, which missed the opportunity by showing a lone white woman. Also missing is a glossary of terms – while many, like “ambulance” or “hospital” are fairly self-explanatory, terms like “quality of care” or “on-call” may be less familiar to those with non-medical backgrounds. Still, for timid patients such as JJ, or little ones interested in growing up to be healthcare providers, this is a great way to introduce the world of medicine. The length was great, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

E Is For Economics (Veronica Goodman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is E Is For Economics, written by Veronica Goodman and illustrated by Nicole Jones Sturk, a playfully financial-themed alphabet book for budding baby economists.

Little readers are introduced to various economic principles and figures, from “A is for Adam Smith” (philosopher/father of modern economics) to “Z is for Zero Sum” (a situation in which whatever is gained by one side is lost by the other). Each term is accompanied by an adorably colorful illustration, often a literal or figurative interpretation of the subject, and sometimes with a tongue-in-cheek twist of humor.

Niche alphabet books are a fun concept that is rapidly gaining popularity, and this one has a lot going for it. There’s a good mix of subjects, and the art is clever, rich, and colorful (JJ especially enjoyed the illustrations and creative typesets). However, I really, really wish that a short definition of the terms or people being introduced had been included in each page, or even in a glossary in the back. I understood a few of the rudimentary terms, and when I did, it added so much to be experience – the clever visual gags alone were instantly more appealing. But there were industry terms that I didn’t understand, and those pages simply fell flat (it should be noted that my husband, who works in finance and spent several years studying economics, thought the whole book was a scream!). This one has such promise, and for a reader who is well-versed in economics and could explain the subject to their little one, it would be an amazing book to share. But for laymen, it can be a bit of a puzzle. We’re going to call this one Baby Bookworm approved – but if you’re not an economist yourself, maybe hit up Wikipedia for a crash course in definitions first.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Big Words For Little Geniuses (Susan & James Patterson)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Big Words For Little Geniuses, written by Susan and James Patterson and illustrated by Hsinping Pan.

Have you ever been part of a kerfuffle? Or seen something that was a bit catawampus? Ever wanted to know if there was a word for the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth? (There is, it’s “arachibutyrophobia”!) This delightfully unusual alphabet book challenges little readers with lesser-known, often-lengthy, and wonderfully fun-to-say words that they may not hear elsewhere. Little bookworms can learn about words like “Lilliputian”, “quokka”, and “flibbertigibbet”, from phonetic spelling to an easily-understood definition, with even more words included in a glossary in the backmatter.

What fun! As a lover of words, especially unusual, little-used, and/or esoteric ones, this was an incredibly enjoyable read for both myself and JJ. The Pattersons do a great job of choosing words that are unusual yet still entertaining and identifiable, so kids can indeed find use for them in their everyday lives (as can the adults reading with them)! The whimsical and vivid color-block illustrations are a treat, and JJ absolutely adored them. This was a good length for a quick read-through, and could provide lots of fun for repeat readings and learning opportunities. A perfect book for budding logophiles, and we definitely recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

H Is For Happy: An Emoji ABC Book Of Feelings (Evan Nimke)

Hello friends! Our book today is H Is For Happy: An Emoji ABC Book Of Feelings by Evan Nimke, a primer in emotions, the alphabet, and that favorite language of the texting generation, emoji.

Using the classic “smiley face” emoji icon set as its base, the book takes us through the alphabet, using a different emotion or feeling and its corresponding emoji for each letter. For instance, H is for happy (🙂), S is for sad (😢), L is for love (😍). Rhyming text describes each emotion, finishing with two lovely sentiments: reminding the reader that everyone has feelings, and asking the question, “what made you feel happy today?”

While this one was a little rough around the edges, there was still a lot to love. One drawback is that the rhyme scheme of the text is very inconsistent, making it tough to find a rhythm while reading aloud, and the ending – while having a nice sentiment – feels a bit tacked on. Still, the book does a fun job of describing each emotion, utilizing a fun and trendy concept very well. The length was fine, but the major reason this book is going to get a good review is that JJ LOVED IT. Be it the simple, easily-identifiable visuals or the letter-emotion combos, she wanted to flip through the book at least three times after we finished our initial read. I can’t argue with first-person data like that, so despite its hiccups, we’re happily (🙂) calling this one Baby Bookworm approved (👍)!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Star Wars: ABC-3PO, Galactic Basic Edition (Calliope Glass & Caitlin Kennedy)

Hello, friends! Today, we read Star Wars: ABC-3PO, Galactic Basic Edition, written by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy, and illustrated by Katie Cook. This is a fantastic little alphabet book set in the Star Wars universe that is fun for fans of all ages.

C-3PO (Human-Cyborg Relations) introduces us to an alphabet book from a galaxy far, far away, where A is for Ackbar, P is for Poe Dameron and Y is for Yoda. Accompanying each letter is a short, humorous poem describing the character or thing, tongue firmly in-cheek as the text describes Kylo Ren’s ostentatious light saber or why you should seriously consider letting a Wookiee win at dejarik.

This is more like it! Unlike the disappointing Star Wars ABC we read last month, this is a Star Wars alphabet book that is as delightful as it is geeky. Nearly every letter is packed with the best-known and/or fan-favorite characters, and the poems are hilariously fun. Adorably cutesy renditions of familiar Star Wars visuals are a treat and make the book perfect for all ages. The length is fine, perhaps edging on long for the tiniest padawans, but JJ was grinning the whole way through. This is a fun, lovingly-crafted and wonderfully nerdy alphabet book for those who are knowledgeable in the ways of The Force. Perfect for fans of all ages, and definitely Baby Bookworm approved!