As both a preschool teacher and a parent, I’m a big fan of alphabet books. Presenting letters within the context of a unifying theme works well in the process of introducing young children to the building blocks of our written language. Sleeping Bear Press is well known for its huge line of themed alphabet books, and their latest is just as wonderful as its predecessors.
T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet by Sonia Rodriguez and Kurt Browning brings the alphabet to life in dance studios and on stage, featuring dancers of all ages in Wilson Ong’s softly hued illustrations. Young children who are already fans of dance class will be entertained and informed by the brief rhyming passages related to the alphabetized concepts presented here, while older children will find the longer pieces of text on each page interesting for the more in-depth information they provide.
Don’t let the pink cover think this is a book pigeon-holed for girls only, for male dancers are portrayed as well, from the young boy demonstrating the grand jete to the man playing Count Albrecht in the ballet Giselle. I appreciate the inclusive emphasis that is in place from the letter A:
“A is for Anybody–
anybody can dance.
All you have to do
is give yourself a chance.”
With a five year old daughter who is fascinated by pink tutus and hair pulled back in a bun, T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet gives me the opportunity to present a more in-depth look at dance for my daughter, and sneak in an alphabet lesson on the side, as well.