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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Have you ever heard of xylocarp? Or xylocarp cupcakes? I haven’t, but it is a real fruit. It’s actually a hard, woody fruit like the coconut. But, when you need a fruit that begins with the letter ‘x’, then xylocarp works quite well. Not to mention the fact that it educates readers of all ages. I’m much more attuned to the ‘c’ for ‘chocolate chip cookies,’ an all-time favorite, and ‘i’ for ice cream. How about you? What’s your favorite sweet treat? Do you know where it fits in the alphabet of sweetness?
Dawn Callahan’s book, Love Chibis, ABC Alphabet Bakery, is a deliciously fresh look at the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. The title might seem a little odd until you discover the meaning of the word ‘chibis.’ It means small and cute and this book is definitely both. All twenty-six letters are represented, beginning with the classic for the letter ‘a’: ‘apple’ and ‘apple pie.’ I like the way each page has the complete alphabet listed on the top border with the current letter highlighted. That way, the young reader not only learns about the new letter but where it is in the alphabet. Also, each letter word used as an example is repeated, written first with the capital form of the letter and then with the small case – very subtle educational tactics. The bright, bold, colorful illustrations help with the presentation, especially when the author uses words like xylocarp and granita which may not be familiar to all readers. This is a sweet and fun way to learn the alphabet as well as to increase one’s vocabulary. This might be a small book, but it's definitely cute, as the title suggests.