author Julie Affleck and artist Alexander MacAdam
MacAdam Visual Media
Age 7 to 12 54 pages
“A is for Applesauce is the first in the Arthur & Zita Alphabet Book series. Nine year old Zita loves WORDS! and her favourite book is the DICTIONARY! Today is “A WORDS DAY”. While she and her younger brother Arthur await the arrival of awesome Aunt Alice, Zita searches for all the words she can that begin with the letter A. A is for Applesauce tells of a trip to the Animal Zoo cut short, and other commotions, accompanied by A Words such as applesauce, ants, attempted arrest, angel food cake, awards, arguing, and antics. As a “day in the life” family adventure with expressive and colourful illustrations, A is for Applesauce is a read alone or read aloud book to be enjoyed by both children and parents. A is for Applesauce is a good choice to expand your child’s A Words vocabulary using A Words in context and with a lively A WORDS GLOSSARY at the end of the story.”
“My name is ZITA. ZITA starts with a zed. And zed is the very last, but certainly NOT the least, letter of the ALPHABET. And I love the ALPHABET. All those lovely letters!”
Zita loves the alphabet and makes today an A-Day in honor of her Aunt Alice, but not for her little brother Arthur. Aunt Alice is visiting today and taking the kids to the alphabetized e zoo. The zoo tour, um, I mean adventure, begins with the A-animals. The adventure had aardvarks—astounding because there were three, not animals, but A’s; and two A’s starting the word aardvark—alligators, alpacas, amphibians, apes, and ants. That is where the adventure stopped, at ants. Arthur let the ants out and one-by-one those ants attacked the other zoo adventurers, all but Arthur. The ants must have appreciated Arthur opening their Plexiglas farm. The zookeepers were not and shut down the zoo, even after the aardvarks cleaned up the ants for lunch. Arthur was aggravating, and additional trouble was on its way.
At Kid Lit Reviews, we are absolutely amazed at the abundance of A’s in the astounding story involving Zita and her aggravating little seven-year-old brother Arthur. Zita loves finding and using new words. I like the idea of a letter day and hope the author and illustrator have the energy to see this series all the way to Z. That Zita’s mom and Aunt Alice help add words is a wonderful idea that I hope parents and other adults continue with their own children. Having her aggravating, trouble-making little brother along allows Zita to define some of the harder words. Arthur also adds much conflict to the story. I wonder if he will age along with the series, adding his own words to the story—maybe even needing to define them to Zita!
In addition to a great A-Day story, the book has a glossary of every A-word used in the story. Kids will love this glossary as it is nothing like a normal one. Instead of words in alphabetical order with definitions, this glossary has the words grouped according to the letter following the first A. Each word is inside a circle, a square, and even a spider; any shape might do here. This may not make it any easier for kids to remember the words, but it is much fun for the eyes.
For parents and teachers who like to take books like A is for . . . Applesauce and make it even more educational, a workbook is available. A is for . . . Applesauce Word Play lets kids match words to definitions; they can find words from the story and finish sentences; find hidden words, complete a word scramble, and much more. I do not think the intended age is a good fit. The story is not high concept, and the words are not extremely difficult. I would say A is for . . . Applesauce fits children age 4 to 8, or, at most, 7 to 9. Some words may be harder for the first group, yet I think A is for . . . Applesauce nicely complements what these age groups are learning in school. In full disclosure, I am not a teacher, so I hope teachers out there respond.
The illustrations are colorful, eye-catching, and appropriate. Wait, that’s not right, not right at all, not for book A. The illustrations are astounding, absorbing, and action-packed. Affectionate Aunt Alice and accommodating mom add additional A-Words. Aggravating little brother Arthur is actually attractive when not being annoying. Adolescents will absorb the academic adventure and find the animated actors amusing. Adults will appreciate the artwork, the (un)ambiguous A-Word glossary, and the attentive A is for . . . Applesauce Word Play.
There is not much wrong with this book, except Word Play, best spelled Wordplay. That is how good this book is, a spelling error and shooting for age 10 to 12. For a debut children’s author, Julie Affleck has written a fine series that will only get better as time and skills improve.
Did you guess that A is for . . . Applesauce, is the first in a series of a lot of books? Can you figure out how many? There is much to look forward to in this series. The next is titled B is for . . . Bubblegum. I think kids will enjoy the stories and the word play in this amazing, bill-of-fare, carefully, defined, and envisioned, for girls (and boys). Oh, and yes, applesauce is in the story.
A is for . . . Applesauce & A is for . . . Applesauce Word Play can be seen HERE.
Artist’s abode, MacAdam Visual Media website
A IS FOR . . . APPLESAUCE. Text copyright © 2013 by Julie Affleck Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Alexander MacAdam. Reproduced by permission of MacAdam Visual Media, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Also by Julie Affleck & Alexander MacAdam
B is for . . . Bubblegum
C is for . . . Calastrophe