Abc 3d by Marion Bataille

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ABC3d by Marion Bataille

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: A difficult-to-classify but absolutely beautiful pop up alphabet book. A coffee table volume for children, it has limited appeal for the home, but should grace every school library.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 38 Date: October 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 0747595798

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Wow. This is an ABC book with a difference. The publisher's notes say it's "astoundingly beautiful" and it is. Marion Bataille's careful, ingenious alphabet pops up from the pages to amaze and entrance all who look. From A, a proud pyramid on the inside cover, to Z, standing on its side at the end, each letter of our alphabet has a personality of its own. E morphs into F, V mirrors itself and becomes W, and U is a cascade of parabolas.

I would have loved this book as a child. It doesn't do anything except make you think. There's no story, no printed word, just the alphabet. And if it's not a fount of ideas for the creative child, I can't imagine anything that could be. It's understated and classy, but this book of paper engineering introduces a plethora of techniques and many principles of design. It's truly motivational.

Having said that, I should also say that ABC 3d has limited appeal. For all its beauty, not every child is going to be transported by origami, or font design, or design at all. For many, it would prove little more than a coffee table book for school pupils. And it's certainly not something you could use to teach a toddler its alphabet. Unless your child is the type to spend hours making origami swans, or colouring those geometric design pads, or agonising for hours over which font is best for history homework (please, number one son, not blackletter again!) it's probably not something to buy.

It should, however, find a place in every school library. Art or design teachers could certainly base lesson plans on it and it would make a wonderfully inspirational study resource.

My thanks to the nice people at Bloomsbury for sending the book.

Young children might like the minimalism in Not A Box by Antoinette Portis, while adults interested in design on a large scale could look at The Design of Future Things by Donald Norman.

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Buy Abc 3d by Marion Bataille at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Abc 3d by Marion Bataille at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Abc 3d by Marion Bataille at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Abc 3d by Marion Bataille at


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