Alphabet City

Title: Alphabet City


Bibliography: Johnson, S. (1995). Alphabet City. New York: Viking Publishing.


Annotation: The author and illustrator, Stephen Johnson, transformed things he saw in urban areas into paintings and drawing that highlight the letters visual in city landscapes and architecture. For example, the letter ‘B’ can be found in a buildings’ fire escape stairs. His creativity makes finding some of the letters a treasure hunt of sorts.


Genre: Wordless Picture Book


Grade Level: All ages


Readers who will like this book: This book appeals to all ages but is particularly of value to children at their beginning stages of literacy. Instead of identifying what animals, objects or ideas start with what letter, Stephen Johnson makes identifying the letters an interactive process.


Personal Response and rating: 5; The combination of being a wordless and ‘ABC’ book was a concept I had originally written off but as to not judge a book by its’ cover I decided to give it a chance and I was pleasantly surprised. I think it is an extremely effective way for young readers to get directly involved with literature.


Question: Can you think of any shapes that you might find in a city that resembles a letter from the alphabet?