A Is for ART Book Poster Image

A Is for ART

Abstract art + alphabetic alliteration = amazing ABC book.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this isn't their ordinary alphabet book. Each page presents an original work of abstract art -- either a sculpture, painting, or collage -- and focuses on one letter and words that start with it. Sophisticated readers, as well as the youngest, will find something of interest here. 

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

From A to Z, each page presents an imaginative and original work of abstract art, either a sculpture, painting, and collage, as well as a list of witty, and sometimes challenging, alliterative words to demonstrate the sound.

Is it any good?


If you're looking for a simple ABC book for a young reader, this may not be the right choice for you. But, if you want something original and different, a more sophisticated, avant-garde ABC book with amazing artwork, clever text, and language that will sweeten even a wordsmith's vocabulary, look no further. A IS FOR ART delivers what it promises: an abstract look at the alphabet, and it's for everyone.

Award winning author-illustrator Stephen T. Johnson is on an artistic quest. Of course, he wants kids to know the alphabet and learn to love language but, more important, he wants them to think about and question art. As he says in his notes, his "literal abstractions" are an attempt to transform ideas into the visual, and to inspire the imaginations of all his readers to do the same.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how each illustration is a piece of art, and each list of words is poetic and playful. What do you like about each painting, collage, or sculpture? What does it say about the letter it represents?

  • Can you find each letter in the artwork? What about the words? How do they sound alike, and what do they mean?

  • How do you think the author-illustrator got the idea to make this book? How is this different from any other alphabet book you have read? How is it the same?

Book details

Author:Stephen T. Johnson
Illustrator:Stephen T. Johnson
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:September 9, 2009
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):5 - 7

This review of A Is for ART was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

External sites

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 18+ year old Written bymic0195 April 19, 2009

the7 yearold club

ok this is a book about 7 yearolds.
Parent of a 3 year old Written byKathysara July 8, 2009

Not your typical alphabet book

My son loves the alphabet so I picked this up after seeing it reviewed in the New York Times. If you want to introduce your child to the alphabet and the concept of abstract art, then this is the book for you. The artwork is interesting and although the language is definitely above the toddler level, it's great for those of us reading the book to our kids.
What other families should know
Educational value