LMNO Peas by Keith Baker

41100255Lynn: LMNO Peas (S&S/Beach Lane 2010) had me laughing before I even saw the book. Countless small children have sung this section of the alphabet song just this way, including my own sons and grandsons. I kept right on laughing when I read the book because the execution is just as much fun as the concept.

We are peas – alphabet peas!

We work and play in the ABC’s.

On each page cheery green peas with arms, legs and big smiles cavort around large bright capital letters. The peas camp out in a C, dig a mine through an M and read on stacks of books all over a red R. Each letter shows the peas in several letter-related activities, making the book a delight to savor slowly. This is really best as a lap book because all the pea scenarios are fun to linger over and too small to be seen from a distance. Our focus group, who love alphabet books, adored this and spent a long time examining all the ap-pea-ling pages. They are going to be quite grum-pea with me when they discover I’ve given it to Cindy to read!

Cindy: Tell the boys I may NEVER give this back. Oh, yeah, it’s a public library copy…darn. I love this book. The rhymes are nice but the illustrations are great fun–think Richard Scarry with peas. I love the details that readers will pick up on as they pour over the scenes. For instance, one of the “bikers in a race” from the “B” page shows up on the “F” page crossing the Finish Line with a checkered Flag being waved as he wins the race. Something I thought I’d never see: a group of peas in yoga positions. And something I’m very peased to see, “V” represented by Voters and Volunteers serving soup next to a mountain of ballots. Even kids who don’t like to eat peas will be thrilled to spend some quality time with them here. Since Keith Baker says that peas are so easy-peasy to draw, maybe teachers will encourage their students to try some LMNO Peas art of their own. I’d hang them on my refrigerator.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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