Aleph: Your First Book by Janik Coat


Aleph: Your First Book by Janik Coat. Gecko Press, 2019. ISBN 9781776572052

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Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? Marketed as a picture dictionary for babies, this book contains large pictures in contrasting colors of simple and mostly familiar objects and animals.  The limited color palette lends a certain elegance to the art. At 128 pages, it’s not a book to “read” to babies (there are no words) but rather to ponder and describe, a few pages at a time. I like the key at the end, which identifies the objects, as well as giving first names to four of the creatures, one of whom is Aleph.

Anything you didn’t like about it? It’s too long to be a book for babies. I couldn’t identify several of the objects: I never would have guessed that the lollipop-like one was a rattle, and I thought that the octopus was a flea or a crab. Also, would a baby understand the concept of witch, one of the objects? Maybe I have a lack of imagination.

To whom would you recommend this book?  I think this would best work for adults who like making up stories based on images, and kids, ages 3 and up, who like the same.

Who should buy this book? This is an additional purchase for public libraries or day cares. Perhaps this would work as a gift for a graphic arts afficionado.

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: March 4, 2019

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