Wednesday, 1 December 2010

When I Dream of ABC - a book review

The next book I'm reviewing for Top That Publishing is When I dream of ABC by Mr Henry Fisher.

I have slightly mixed views on this one, however I have to say the illustrations are incredible.  They appeal to my slightly gothic nature - think Tim Burton meets Ruby Gloom.  On the positive side, it is refreshing to find an ABC book that breaks with the norm and is more imaginative than 'A is for apple, B is for ball' etc.

I love the concept of this - with each letter of the alphabet the child is transported on a magical journey, meeting inhabitants of an enchanted dreamworld along the way.  Traditionally, some of these characters such as witches and giants are often used in children's book, but I found myself constantly explaining that such creatures as Mermaids, Unicorns, Vampires and Leprechauns weren't real.

The difficulty I had is although my daughter is very young (still 4 months off her 3rd birthday), she seems already to assume a 'learning' book like an alphabet book is more fact than fiction.  Maybe I'm imagining this, but I got the feeling that she believed what I was reading to be true.  The humour was lost on her.

"V is for Vampire. Vampires are very pale because they don't eat their greens.  They come out at night and drink hot chocolate, through little holes in their teeth." 

I suspect older children will appreciate the comedy, but would they necessarily need or want an ABC book?

When I dream of ABC is available from bookshops or online from Top That Publishers at £6.29.

A copy of this book was received free of charge for the purpose of this review, however the opinion stated is my own accurate and honest view.


  1. What a lovely book, I love the artwork

    As for sense of humour for this type of book comes abot 6-7 years.
    Keep hold of it as I read a comic book to my twins over and over and though deadpan they enjoyed the colours and the almost rhyme of it. Then finally they got the joke after over a year.
    Funnily my daughter kept it as it was like a revelation the day she found the punchline.

  2. Thanks Jo, I'm sure you're right. She loves the book, but just doesn't quite 'get' it. I hope she does continue to enjoy it as I adore the pictures.

    Thanks for your comment x