BEST OF THE YEAR The New York Times · Booklist Top of the List · World Kid Lit
What letter does the word bee start with? If you said “B” you’re right – in English! But in many, many languages, it actually starts with A. Bee is Aṅụ̄ in Igbo, Aamoo in Ojibwe, Abelha in Portugese. And Arı in Turkish.
Come and explore the gorgeous variations in the ways we talk about familiar things, unified and illuminated through Ellen Heck’s eye-catching, graphic scratchboard details and hidden letterforms.
P R A I S E
★ “A gorgeous collection for linguists of all ages." —Booklist (starred)
“The ultimate demonstration of inclusion, and the beauty of world languages. This lavishly illustrated multilingual alphabet book isn’t about inclusion, it is inclusion.” —The New York Times
"Kaleidoscopic and delightful. Any lover of language, or any child who likes new sounds, will be entranced." —Kory Stamper, NYT
“Beautiful. A book that presents an understanding far beyond the usual. Marvelous” —Betsy Bird, SLJ Fuse 8
About the Author
Ellen Heck is a printmaker. For the past decade, through several print projects, she has explored questions about identity—its creation, variability, persistence and change. She studied philosophy at Brown University and art at SAIC. Inspired by reading Lithuanian alphabet books to her son, A Is for Bee is her debut picture book.
“An entertainingly subversive take on the usual alphabet book.” — Five Books, Best Books of 2022
[STAR] “A gorgeous collection for linguists of all ages."—Booklist (starred)
“Against richly colored backgrounds, the black-and-white scratchboard illustrations dramatically employ contrast and texture. Hand-lettered display type enhances the visual drama and zestfully celebrates the multiplicity of animal names. Cleverly, each letter is hidden somewhere in the composition of its illustrated page, adding an A-to-Z seek-and-find element for children… Combining visual verve with a sense of our worldwide connectedness, this both teaches and entertains.”—Kirkus Reviews
"Kaleidoscopic and delightful. Any lover of language, or any child who likes new sounds, will be entranced."—Kory Stamper, The New York Times