Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)
I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know when I say that there are A LOT of alphabet books out there. And a heaping ton of them are about animals. But even in that vast ocean of competition, this book is absolutely stunning.
Graphic designer and illustrator Christopher Evans uses a technique he calls “digital woodcut” and the resulting images blew me away. As he says on the back flap, the illustrations are “somewhere between an impressionist painting and a mechanical drawing.” From hard shells to leathery skin, the depth and texture he achieves with simple digital lines is incredible. My personal favorites were the wavy scales of the iguana and the soft, fluffy face of the alpaca.
Even beyond the breathtaking illustrations, I loved the elegant design aspects of the rest of the book. Each spread features the alphabet letter large and centered, comprised of textures and features seen in the corresponding animal, as well as a dynamic sepia silhouette of the animal, roughly to scale (the giraffe takes up most of the page, while the hedgehog is a small shape near the bottom).
Located in Children’s Picture Books (E EVANS)