Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray
ABC books are sometimes hard to pull off, and there aren't a lot of them that I really like - this one, I LOVE. And yes, it does have a dog in it...
The dog is curled up sleeping while the little girl puts the finishing touches on an apple pie. The dog wakes up when he smells it baking, and they both watch it "cool." While the girl gets a piece, the dog does not. The illustration here, of the dog determinedly pushing his bowl across the floor, "eager" for a piece, is one of my favorites. Soon, we see him curled up in his bed, "miserable" without any pie. But he is "not giving up", and we see him "pine for it", and "ogle it." X is often tricky, and in this case, a true X word isn't used (it's exit) but in this book, I'm not so bothered by it.
The letters are a good size, and each one stands for a word or short phrase. It easily works as a story, instead of just a collection of things to show off the letters of the alphabet. It's also a cute and clever introduction to new vocabulary - how often do you use the word ogle, especially when talking to a child?
The slightly retro-looking illustrations are just delightful, and the dog's personality just shines through in his antics.
This book is actually based on an old, really old, alphabet rhyme (yes, I did just do an un-librarian type thing and use wikipedia as my source) but it's been updated brilliantly and is a million times better than the books that use this rhyme and seem quite out-dated. You can also visit the book's website, where you'll learn the dog is named Georgie and the girl is Grace. You can also print a coloring page, and make your own Georgie.
Reviewed from library copy