By Laura Ennis, BK Story Voyager Librarian
A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet Book
By Kurt Browning and Illustrated by Melanie Rose
(For readers in grades 2–4)
“A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet Book” is the perfect read for the child that loves to ice skate or loves to watch the ice skating events like those in the recent Winter Olympics. The book’s author is Kurt Browning, a World and Canadian Champion Figure Skater and choreographer. He also made history as the first man to land a quadruple jump in competition. Browning uses the alphabet to teach his readers all about ice skating. Letters that stand out are A is for axel: “What a big day in a skater’s life / when they land their first one.” and G is for glide: “An amazing thing about skating is the ability to Glide.” Each letter provides new skating vocabulary for readers!
Melanie Rose’s illustrations are a big highlight of the book. In “A is for Axel,” the joy the skaters feel while jumping and spinning jumps off the page. Oil paint is Rose’s chosen medium, and in her hands it accentuates expression and movement to bring the skating images to life. Rose has also illustrated the books, “Z is for Zamboni”, “H is for Homerun”, “M is for Maple”, “P is for Passport”, and many more A to Z texts. They all showcase her vivid illustrations.
For kids that love A to Z books, “A is for Axel” is a great introduction to skating techniques and lingo. Be sure to look up your closest skating rink in case your child wants to skate after reading the book!