My Little ABC Book, by Bob Staake, Little Simon, 1998. Baby to Toddler to Preschool.
The other day, my four-year-old son told me this story: Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas. He was reading a train book. To a dinosaur. And the dinosaur turned into a robot. And rode the train. With a bee. The End.
He was holding Donald Crews’ Freight Train, and Bob Staake’s My Little ABC Book was open next to him on the sofa. Not surprisingly, a train, a dinosaur, a robot and a bee can all be found in the ABC book.
I have read that this ABC book was one of Mr. Staake’s first forays into digital art. It shows, but not in a bad way. The shapes elemental; the colors are saturated; the lines are sharp; and the shading is blocky, yet these qualities all work really well for a book that is as basic as the alphabet. This book reminds me of alphabet blocks in book form and since I often find this book in with my son’s alphabet blocks, I must not be the only one.
While the illustrations clearly consist of basic shapes, they are still instantly recognizable. My son can “read” this book because he can recognize the pictures. As an added bonus, he also recognizes the shapes used to form the illustrations, so they reinforce his knowledge of them and HE is learning to draw by using shapes.