A, B, C, D, E, F, G….how many times do we hear this song as a little one?
How many books are out there to help us learn our ABCs? I wish I had the answer because I’ve read the ABCs a lot and certainly sing the ABC song often to my little one, as I have over the years to kids I have babysat. There are some great book versions out there and one that I have been enjoying is B is for Beaver: An Oregon Alphabet by Marie and Roland Smith. While there are several books in this series, this is the one I am most partial to as I am currently living in Portland.
Jumping Bean loves books that rhyme or are songs, as he LOVES music. Luckily for me this one has a four line rhyme for every letter specific to the state. It is not only easy to read but enjoyed by both of us. On top of that it is something that will grow with him, as each side bar includes more in-depth information on the subject, and on occasion an additional subject that begins with the same letter.
“T is for Timberline
on the slopes of Mount Hood.
Ski year-round near this
giant lodge of stone and wood.”
On this particular page the authors include information on Tillamook Cheese made in Tillamook, Oregon. The Tillamook Cheese Factory has a visitor’s center, and I have heard it is something to see. But alas, as much as I love cheese, I have a dairy allergy and this would be too much of a temptation.
There are a mix of places to see and historical and current facts about the state.
For those who like fun facts there is even a short quiz at the end of the book. Don’t worry, the answers are within sight so you don’t have to guess or be stressed about the answer!
The illustrator, Michael Roydon, does a beautiful job capturing the uniqueness of Oregon and Portland, as many of the pages have to do with Portland. Some illustrations are soft and others are more crisp, while others have varying sizes of stippling to get some wonderful texture to them. My favorite pages are “V” and “W,” where there is a beautiful scene of the Willamette Valley with an inactive volcano in the background.
Even more exciting, at least to me, is that Roydon has been every place in Oregon that he draws. He doesn’t rely on pictures in order to create his illustrations and I think it adds even more to what you see.
If you don’t live in Oregon have no fear!
There are more books available for the other states and one for America as a whole. For our family I would love to get one for every state I have lived in or have family in, and the same for my husband and his family. Even though we don’t get to see them as often as we would like, it will be fun for Jumping Bean to know about the states where his family lives.