please peas me

#28 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.

In my ongoing search for quirky alphabet books, I was tickled green when I discovered Keith Baker’s LMNO Peas (Beach Lane Books, 2010).

This is not your usual serving of teensy round rascals who look exactly alike and take great pleasure in rolling around plates and hanging in groups. No — Mr. Baker (don’t you love his name), infinitely clever and highly imaginative soul that he is, has cooked up a fun and tasty alphabet which proves that peas are not the same-same vegetables everyone thinks they are — they’re actually fascinating little peaple!

Such a busy lot, too. These alphabet peas “work and play in the ABCs.” Each giant, gloriously textured capital letter is home, workplace, and/or playground for peas with corresponding occupations. And they love introducing themselves in rhyme (click on each spread to enlarge):

“We’re acrobats, artists, and astronauts in space.
We’re builders, bathers, and bikers in a race.

We’re climbers, campers, and he’s a circus clown.
We’re dancers — can you dig it? — and drivers round town.”

Oh! Mega cuteness, 100% charming and delightful. Little pea guys waving checkered flags, jumping through hoops, driving colorful cars, juggling dishes, paddling kayaks, flying planes. The letters themselves are not mere backdrops, but figure prominently as cool architectural platforms, as peas roll, climb, perch, glide, slide, balance, and gleefully cavort in, around, atop, beside, and underneath them. Movin’ and groovin’, rollin’ right along.

Little ones will have a ball closely examining what all their favorite peaple are up to. Along with an interesting alphabet of occupations, there are plenty of opportunities for counting, identifying colors, discovering endless objects and discussing varied scenarios. Lots of action and winsome details will keep the munchkins giggling all the way through. Baker has also cleverly hidden a ladybug on each spread, an extra search and find exercise which proceeds from endpaper to endpaper. And when they are done introducing themselves, the personality-plus peas ask the reader, “Who are you?”

My favorite peaple? The eaters please me immensely. Five hungry fellows gather round a table for a spaghetti dinner. The volunteers work at a soup kitchen (check out the tall stack of bread)! And I love that artists, poets, teachers and readers are all represented. Also, gigglers. Where does one train to become a giggler? Oh, it’s your natural talent? Happea to hear that!

LMNO Peas has received glowing reviews, including a *starred review* from School Library Journal. And it was just named a 2011 NCTE Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts. Highly recommend this paean to uniqueness and individuality. Yippea!

I’m beyond pleased to add LMNO Peas to my alphabetica collection.

Pass the peas, please!


Thanks, Mr. Baker!

♥ Blog Reviews: Brimful Curiosities (includes related craft), 5 Minutes for Books, Richie’s Picks.

 Certified authentic alphabetica. Handmade especially for you with love and a fervent wish for world peas.

Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

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