From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4-This brightly colored picture book introduces young readers to the International Communications Alphabet (ICA), which is used by the military and aviation industry. Each page presents the special ICA word and signal flag representing a letter along with a realistic illustration and one line of descriptive alliterative text using the featured letter. Packed with action and military terms, the text can be somber ("Unidentified American soldiers lie in rest at the Tomb of the Unknowns") and also controversial ("The Navy deploys a destroyer to help defend world peace"). Done in pastels, the illustrations pop right off the pages and depict many aspects of the military from soldiers and marines to medical personnel and journalists. An author's note provides information about the ICA, but children old enough to be curious about this subject will probably want more details and anecdotes. Still, this unique alphabet book will capture the attention of youngsters with military connections or interests.-Julie Roach, Watertown Free Public Library, MA
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K-Gr. 3. Not your typical alphabet book, this uses the military alphabet, which designates a distinctive word to stand for each letter to minimize misunderstandings during verbal communication. The large-format volume illustrates each letter with its corresponding U.S. Navy signal flag and a scene from the American armed forces. The words representing the letters range from Alpha
. Other words beginning with same letter appear in the caption: "Tango / A tank thunders across the terrain" and "Foxtrot / Foot soldiers wear bulletproof flak jackets." In an appended author's note, Demarest discusses the history and purpose of the military alphabet. Younger children will probably be most interested in the many colorful illustrations of military personnel and equipment. Composition and subject matter are varied and dynamic, contributing to the vivid sense of urgency and engagement in many of the scenes. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved