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Children's Nonfiction Alphabet


illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Candlewick Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2015
Alphabet, General, Military & Wars
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2015
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 8
  • Grade: k to 3


Discover the NATO phonetic alphabet—and find layers of connection in every letter—in a stunning abecedarian from celebrated artist Isabelle Arsenault.

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie . . . Since 1956, whenever time and clarity are of the essence, everyone from firefighters to air traffic controllers has spelled out messages using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Now, with equal precision—infused with a singular wit and whimsy—award-winning author-illustrator Isabelle Arsenault interprets this internationally recognized code and makes it her own. From the elegant Tangoto the enigmatic Echo, from the humorous Kilo to the haunting Romeo and Juliet, the striking art in this remarkable ABC book elicits laughter and curiosity, calls up endless associations, and will draw the viewer back again and again.

About the author

Isabelle Arsenault is a very talented Quebec illustrator who has won an impressive number of awards and has achieved international recognition. She has illustrated Migrant by Maxine Trottier, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, winner of the Governor General’s Award; Le coeur de monsieur Gauguin by Marie-Danielle Croteau, winner of the Governor General’s Award; and My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. She has also illustrated Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean Pendziwol and Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, forthcoming from Groundwood. Isabelle has won the Grand Prix for illustration (Magazines du Québec) for six years running. She lives with her family in Montreal.

Isabelle Arsenault's profile page

Editorial Reviews

For kids who may have heard the letters used in movies or on TV, learning this code alphabet could turn into a game.
—Kirkus Reviews

Fine artwork and design sense give this creation quiet allure.
—Publishers Weekly

...beautifully designed and lovingly illustrated in Arsenault’s signature retro style..."
—School Library Journal

Alpha is a smart, nice-looking, and useful take on the classic children’s abecedarian.
—Words on the Word (blog)

This would be an engaging selection for a teacher or librarian to share with intermediate grade students in a whole-group setting.
—School Library Connection

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