4 out of 4 stars
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My ABC “Chair” Book, by Barbara Hartsfield, is unquestionably one of the most captivating alphabet books I have ever read. Hartsfield has collected miniature chairs for over 30 years. In 2008, Hartsfield established a Guinness World Record with her collection of 3,000 miniature chairs. In 2009, she opened a museum to display her fascinating collection in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Her museum, the Collectible & Antique Chair Gallery, has received recognition on both national and international levels. My ABC “Chair” Book has a dual purpose. Not only does it teach children the alphabet in a delightful way, but it also spreads awareness of her miniature chair museum.
There were many differing elements I really enjoyed about this charming book. First and foremost is the multitude of beautiful color photographs on every page taken by Hartsfield herself. This was my favorite part of the entire book. The sheer variety of miniature chairs is impressive. One of the photos, captioned “Earrings,” shows two chairs that are earring holders. Hanging from these chairs are earrings that are themselves chairs! It is a delightfully captivating continuation of the theme of the book.
Knowing there are thousands more different chairs in the museum is truly astonishing. I also appreciated that the first letter of every word in the alphabet was a different color of font, emphasizing to a young child just what that letter looks like. There was truly nothing I disliked about the book.
Because this is an alphabet book, there really is no text needed beyond the words that are already there. However, on a personal level, I would have enjoyed seeing more attention and effort going into the text itself. Sure, the word “Apple” is all you need. But it would be more interesting to read it in a complete sentence: “A is for Apple.” It would be even more charming to give a bit of a definition with each word: “A is for Apple, juicy and sweet. B is for Birdhouse, a cozy, wee home.” “C is for clock, by which we tell time,” and so forth. However, that is a personal preference and certainly is not necessary in order to enjoy the book as it is written.
I thoroughly enjoyed this original, one-of-a-kind alphabet book. Anyone who appreciates miniatures or who has young children would also like this book. I am delighted to give My ABC “Chair” Book a well-deserved four out of four stars. It is truly the most unique alphabet book I have ever read.
My ABC "Chair" Book
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