Rating: 5 stars
“ABC Dream” by Kim Krans is not just your ordinary ABC picture book. Even the cover gives the indication that this book is something special, something unique. The cover features a black and white unicorn with a horn colored with the same watercolor that shades the title letters “ABC.” The horn is outlined in gold. There is plenty of white space with a few other items and the overall effect is just beautiful.
Each page is not just another letter but another adventure into art. All the illustrations are simple, yet when examined closely, quite complex. The “P” page, for instance, features a plaid letter “P” with a panda sitting leaning against it. Overhead are two palm leaves and scattered on the page are puzzle pieces. The only color is the plaid: red and yellow. Krans uses color judiciously on the pages — almost like a special gift. The black and while drawings are spectacular enough, but Krans doesn’t overwhelm the lovely drawings with too much color. The watercolor washes delicately intensify the artistic experience (which is what reading this book becomes).
Some pages are filled with images. The “L” page includes a double-page spread with a lion lying under some leaves looking at a lamb lying on the letter “L” drawn in intricate lace. The only spot of color is on the green leaves. On the other hand, the “V” page is almost Spartan by comparison with only a violin and vines. But the two page illustrations feature the violin drawn in black and white and the letter “V” on the facing page, also in black and white, with green vines covering both the instrument and the letter.
This is a book for young children learning the alphabet, but also older children will enjoy finding all the things that are illustrated and begin with the letters. Older children and even adults will enjoy the book for the beauty of the illustrations.
This would be a great gift for a baby or young child. It’s a great addition to any classroom library or school library.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Random House Books for Young Readers for review purposes.