Re-learning the Letters | Review of “A Brazilian Alphabet For The Younger Reader” by P. K. Page (2005) The Porcupine’s Quill

Encourage by the conversation I had about my last post on the works of Patricia Kathleen Page, I continued my exploration of her work. That lead me down to the children’s section where I found a small yet excellent volume of her work called A Brazilian Alphabet For The Younger Reader which could have only been published in the manner that The Porcupine’s Quill is known for.

"A is Arara - you call it macaw. It has blue and gold feathers and talks like your Pa.
“A is Arara – you call it macaw. It has blue and gold feathers and talks like your Pa.

This is an elegant work of whimsy. Page used words from her years in Brazil and collected old illustrations of engravings from books and ‘century-old’ magazines to describe each letter.

Snapshot of Pages 14-15
“Dona de Casa
means Mum of the house.
She’ll kiss you and cure you
of ringworm and louse

But in the whimsy there is a bit of an intellectual truth.  Page had created a unique interpretation of the classic alphabet book which can be appreciated by both young and old.

"Neto and Neta grandson and granddaughter. The Children of  either your son or your daughter
“Neto and Neta –
grandson and granddaughter.
The children of either
your son or your daughter

 

Again, Page created a piece of communication that is simple and elegant. Well worth the time to read over and over again.

 

By Way Of An Introduction (Page 7)

Brazilian children, take note: your great great grandparents spelled this way. They lived before the spelling reform of 1931 – before double letters were eliminated, before Y became I or J, before K became Q or C, before – but that is all we need to know for this alphabet book. The old spellings match the nineteenth-century engravings and take us back in time.

A Brazilian Alphabet For The Younger Reader by P. K. Page has a simple yet beautiful intellectualism to it. A pleasure to read and re-read over and over again.

 

Wikipedia Page on P. K. Page

Link to The Porcupine’s Quill Page for “A Brazilian Alphabet For The Younger Reader.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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