Baby book review: A is For Awesome! by Eva Chen and Derek Desierto

Baby librarian Marian and her mommy Margaret review the totally awesome board book A Is for Awesome!: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen, illustrated by Derek Desierto.

Cover of A is for Awesome by Eva Chen

Marian reviews A is for Awesome

This is a book I read to Mommy, not the other way around. I am a much better reader in this case. I love to shout when I read it, and point to each woman and say, “BABY!” or “ME!” It’s a lot of fun. I also just make random noises because those are fun too. I can tell this is a fun book because the pictures are all funny and friendly.

I don’t know my ABCs yet, but I like them because they’re to the same tune as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and that’s really neat. I’m pretty sure you can’t sing the words of the book to that tune though, even though it’s an ABC book.

The best part of this book is the giant mirror on the last page!!!! It’s awesome! I’m awesome!

Margaret reviews A is for Awesome

I had to read this book once I put Marian to bed. Every time I pick it up she runs over and steals it from me! This is HER book. I don’t know what about it excites her so. It’s a bigger board book, so maybe she likes how big the illustrations are? Is it easier to turn the pages? Desierto’s illustrations of the women all have big eyes, so maybe that’s it?

Marian reading A is for Awesome with her daddy
Marian reading the book with her daddy. It’s really difficult to capture that smile of hers sometimes.

And the look on her face every time she gets to the last page with the big mirror on it. Just the biggest smile. It makes my heart happy to see her with this book. I can’t think of any higher praise than that.

But what about me as an adult reader? I love all the women they use for each letter. And Chen includes one of my favorite adult writers, Ursula K. Le Guin, for U! I’ve never seen her mentioned in a children’s book before. I also like the quotes in the book. The few times I’ve been able to read it aloud, I enjoy being able to try on various voices for each woman.

Honestly, the art isn’t my style. I wouldn’t be able to tell who many of the women are without the words. But it’s pretty clear that something about the art excites Marian, so clearly Desierto knows something about illustrating for children that I don’t.

Marian and I highly recommend this board book for all the feminist babies and toddlers out there. It’s become one of Marian’s go to books.

Jen and I have reviewed a couple other feminist board books, and I’m planning a list for March.

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