Today I’m delighted to bring you my review of A is for Abinadi, a new children’s book published by Cedar Fort, written by Heidi Poelman and illustrated by Jason Pruett.
ABC books for children abound. You walk into any children’s bookstore and they’re all over the place. But A is for Abinadi stands out from the others.
First of all, each letter of the alphabet stands for a distinctive figure from the standard works of the scriptures. The Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants are all represented here. In addition, we get a quick synopsis of who that person was and are reminded why they are significant.
Second, I was pleased to see both men and women represented. You might think that “H” would be Helaman, but it was actually Hannah. Other women in the book were Eve, Mary, Queen Esther, and Rebekah.
Third, I really enjoyed the humor in the illustrations. Not only are the pictures cute, but they’re funny. We see a camel spitting on a kid on Rebekah’s page, and apparently the sons of Mosiah were issued missionary name tags when they were sent out to serve. Who knew?
Another fun feature—and I admit, I was a little slow to notice this—but on each page, there are several things to find that start with that letter. For instance, when you look at Samuel the Lamanite’s page, you see people throwing skunks and scissors at him. You and your child can have fun finding all the things that start with the letter S while you’re reading that page. At first, I thought, “Oh, hey, that’s awesome. They’re throwing random stuff at Samuel—that’s funny.” But then I realized that it all started with the letter S. (Hey, I said I was slow on the uptake today.)
On a more serious note, I appreciated the V page. That one stands for "Visiting Angel," and talks about Moroni coming to see the young Joseph Smith in the night. This picture shows Joseph sharing a room with his brothers, and they’re all asleep while the angel talks to Joseph. You may wonder why I appreciate this. Well, I love history, and I know from Church history that Joseph Smith never had a lot of money . His home in Vermont where he was born was about the size of my living room, no lie. The pictures we traditionally see of Joseph Smith receiving a visit from Moroni show him alone in his bedroom, and yet, from what we know of his history, odds are that he never had a bedroom of his own. Therefore, I appreciated seeing other siblings in the room in this picture book—it felt more real to me.
|Daniel having a ton of fun in the lions' den.|
I think this picture book would be a great resource for any home with young children. It teaches the alphabet and letter recognition, it helps children identify items that all begin with the same letter, and it introduces them to people in the scriptures in a simple way so they can begin to establish familiarity with the names and events they will be studying in greater detail as they get older. This one's definitely a keeper in my book (pun intended).
You can purchase A is for Abinadi at any LDS bookstore, or online by clicking here.