alphaAlpha, Bravo, Charlie . . . The NATO phonetic alphabetic was adopted in 1956 and is used by various emergency services, including firefighters, police, the military, and the Red Cross, as a way to communicate clearly and precisely in urgent situations. Each spread features a colorful watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustration on the right and the word printed in large block letters on a white page on the left. The illustrations are quite sophisticated in this nontraditional ABC book. A black derby represents “Charlie” (Charlie Chaplin). A red plastic Monopoly piece defines “hotel.” O portrays a beautiful evening gown (Oscar de la Renta). A note at the back of the book gives more information about the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet and suggests that the images will invite imagination and interpretation. mjw
Title: Alpha
Author: Isabelle Arsenault
: Isabelle Arsenault
: Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts
: 2015
Original Language
: French, NATO phonetic alphabet
Original Publisher
: Les Editions de la Pasteque
Original Copyright
: 2014
: 978-0-7636-7852-4
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 5-8
: Picture Book, ABC Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Montreal
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal
: Author/illustrator has won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature three times
: Alphabet, ICAO alphabet code

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