A is for Bee: An Alphabet Book in Translation is a multi-language twist on the alphabet picture book. Each page features a letter of the English alphabet paired with animal words that start with that letter in languages other than English. The book delights in the fact that something silly from one angle can be true from another; it celebrates both what we lose in translation and what we discover.
The art in A is for Bee is carved on scratchboard and printed at 2 to 4 times its original size. Each high-contrast, brightly-colored illustration contains hidden letterforms. Hand-lettering by Jon Gray and a collaboration with Recorded Books with a link to fluent speakers’ pronunciations of the 70 languages represented have made this project, published by Levine Querido, a unique ode to languages and their puzzling complexities.
Society of Illustrators: Original Art 2023