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ABCs (Chunky Version) Board book – May 15, 2008


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Board book, May 15, 2008
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ABCs (Chunky Version) + Charley Harper 123s: Skinny Edition + A Book of Sleep
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Board book: 54 pages
  • Publisher: AMMO Books (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934429074
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934429075
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charley Harper was an American illustrator who worked from his studio in the woods near Cincinnati, Ohio, until his death in 2007, at the age of eighty-four. He is beloved for his delightful, graphic, and often humorous illustrations of nature, animals, insects, and people alike. Charley liked to say that when he paints a bird, he doesn't count all the feathers in the wings--he just counts the wings. Minimal realism, he called it, and his unique and precise style continues to resonate with and inspire his admirers both young and old.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Charley Harper (August 4, 1922 - June 10, 2007) had an alternative way of looking at nature. His serigraphs were large expanses of rich color, which gave the viewer a very different perspective on the animal kingdom. A conservationist as well as an artist, Harper revealed the unique aspects of his wildlife subjects through highly stylized geometric reduction. Harper said he was "the only wildlife artist who has never been compared to Audubon," yet his wildlife art was just as instructive - the only difference was that Harper laced his lessons with humor. Harper believed that humor made it easier to encourage changes in our attitudes and awareness of environmental concerns.

There was a rare and delightful playfulness in Harper's artwork. There was also graphic genius. Harper said, "When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don't see feathers, fur, scapulars or tail coverts - none of that. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting: in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe."

Reared on a West Virginia farm, Harper developed an early appreciation and love of animals as well as design. He attended West Virginia Wesleyan College and graduated from the Cincinnati Art Academy, where he also taught for many years. Gradually, Harper began to lose his interest in realism. "I felt shackled by the laws of perspective and shading and decided that the constant attempt to create the illusion of three dimensions on the two-dimensional plane of the picture was limiting me as an artist. Realistic painting persuades the viewer that he is looking into space rather than at a flat surface. It denies the picture plane, which I affirm and use as an element of design. Wildlife art has been dominated by realism, but I have chosen to do it differently because I think flat, hard-edge and simple."

In his artwork, Harper imaginatively investigated the similarities between human and wild animal behaviors, but completely without anthropomorphism. "I learn as much as I can about the creatures that interest me, and they all do. I observe them and find out how they interact with each other and their environments and ask myself, 'What if?'"
© 2002 The Mill Pond Press Companies

Customer Reviews

This ABC book is beautifully illustrated.
M. Walton
I love Charley Harper and picked this book up as a baby shower gift.
280te_chick
Perfect for 2-3 year olds...nice eye candy for the adults.
Phyllis Nishimori

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Julie Neal VINE VOICE on June 13, 2008
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I loved this book! The illustrations of animals on each spread are graceful works of art. The delicate use of line, color and shape sometimes looks Japanese, sometimes like a collage made of construction paper. Others are loose pen-and-ink drawings.

You can tell the late Charley Harper loved animals, as his affection for them jumps off the page. There is so much personality! In D is for Dog, the smiling spaniel has dirt on his nose and legs, and you can almost see him panting. In I is for Iguana, two giant lizards battle for a captive tiny pig, swinging their tails and rearing up. Q is for Quail shows whirring wings on a fat and happy bird.

The inside covers show a collage of dozens of other Harper animals, most of which are not used in the book.

The board book itself is a little more sturdy than most. It will hold up well.

Charley Harper's ABC's is an outstanding way to introduce fine artwork to young children. Other good choices include Zen Ties and Walt Disney's Cinderella.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Pine on September 5, 2008
Format: Board book
This book is a great sampling of Charley Harper's work and a great ABC board book for kids.

There is something interesting or cute in nearly every picture. Harper's unmistakable style makes the alphabet enjoyable.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Donald Watkins on May 29, 2008
Format: Board book
ABC's uses Harper's stylized graphics of animals with few words and lots of nature study. Delightful for adults and educational for children. I am a Harper fan and would not normally buy a board page book. The unusual binding makes the board pages work well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Frye on May 29, 2008
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
What a delight - a book that is as beautiful for the parents as it is for children. This stylish book is perfect. The pages are sturdy and plentiful for avid page turning toddlers. The letters are bold and the accompanying graphics are beautiful and full of surprises. My daughter is delighted with something new each time we read this book. It is a classic and our new favorite!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Farmer on February 2, 2010
Format: Board book
The "U is for Underwater" page really grabbed my attention. There are 3 molecules illustrated above a scene of water and lightning. Guess what - it's the origin of life on Earth!

The left molecule is CH3NH2 - Methylamine, the simplest primary amine.

The center molecule is NH2CH2COOH - Glycine, the smallest of the 20 amino acids.

The right molecule is CH3CHO - Acetaldehyde, which can condense with cyanide and ammonia to give, after hydrolysis, the amino acid Alanine, which is the next largest amino acid.

Simple organic molecules like these are thought to have been formed by lightning or hydrothermal vents, and to have been the building blocks of life in the waters of the ancient Earth.

Not the sort of thing you'd expect to find in an ABC book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Higbee on September 5, 2008
Format: Board book
This book is BEAUTIFUL! What a fantastic way to learn the alphabet and be inspired at the same time. Harper's artwork is gorgeous, inspired and whimsical.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Walton on June 11, 2008
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This ABC book is beautifully illustrated. Pleasing for both a child and adult to look at.
The one thing that strikes me as strange is that the whole book follows the "A is for Ape, B is for Bird" pattern until you get to "N is for Nest", then "U is for Underwater???", "W is for Web" and "X- how many X's Can You Find?". It would have been nice to have animals on all the pages.. well I guess X is a bit hard. Perhaps they didn't have any illustrations from Charley Harper to fit those pages?
But otherwise I love this book. Would even look good on the coffee table!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Sherman on November 2, 2008
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
Really liked the book. I was disappointed on two of the illustrations. I is for Iguana shows an illustration of a Komodo Dragon, and P is for Penguin a picture of a Murre.

Picky? Absolutely, but it is a Charley Harper book. Since the illustrations are pulled from many stages of his career, the look is not as cohesive as you might hope, but I actually see that as a plus, since it has variety.

Still, 4 stars, I would buy again and have bought as gifts.
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