Reviewed By Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite - 5/5 Star Rating
Honestly, I’m a dog person but that didn’t stop me or my son from loving Dewey the cat. I have a feeling this house may become divided. My son and I will most probably stay firmly rooted in the dog camp while my wife and daughter seem to be going to the cats. I sensed it coming from the moment my daughter became fascinated by the colorful pictures of Dewey on my computer screen. The Alphabet According to Dewey is a great book for getting kids interested in and learning the alphabet. Sheri-Lynn Kenny has put together a delightful reader with bright, colorful pictures that grab a child’s attention and encourage them to learn the story that goes with picture. The layout of The Alphabet According to Dewey is elegant and inspired.
I’m trying to imagine how much time and effort it would take to get any cat I’m familiar with to pose for all these cute pictures and I can’t help but come to the conclusion that Sheri-Lynn Kenny put a whole lot of time into creating this book. It was worth it. The pictures are adorable and make the intended point every time. I have been a fan of rhyming stories since Doctor Seuss so the fact that the story of Dewey comes in a rhyme is no surprise to me. It might even appeal more if an appropriate rap beat were added. A great book and a great job. Dewy may just be on his way to Alphabet stardom.
Reviewed By Gracie Bradford for Readers’ Favorite - 4/5 Star Rating
The Alphabet According to Dewey by Sheri-Lynn Kenny is written in the form of poetry using the voice of a cat named Dewey to teach children the alphabet. There is a compilation of photographs before and after the multi-color alphabet to support the poetic content description of no more than five to six short sentences. Pictures depict real life scenes with Dewey in the washer and dryer, or perhaps playing with a tennis shoe. At the end, Dewey asks the reader about his adventure, which could generate group discussion or critical thinking in a classroom setting. Dewey has adorable friends that he shares with the reader. The words associated with each alphabet letter range from simple to moderately complex such as A for acrobat.
The Alphabet According to Dewey by Sheri-Lynn Kenny is a colorful collection of photographs of the family cats that range from small cats to large cats. Each letter matches a word highlighted within the context of the poem. Dewey is referred to as the tabby cat taking on a human conversation. Students who like to read poetry may find this book interesting. Cat lovers will enjoy seeing the many photos of Dewey as he explores everything in the home from the kitchen sink to the bedroom to the washroom. The book cover has an array of colorful letters which can capture the attention of kids and parents shopping in book stores. The book cover is simple but eye catching.
Official Review: The Alphabet According to Dewey
[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Alphabet According to Dewey" by Sheri-Lynn Kenny.]
The Alphabet According to Dewey by Sheri-Lynn Kenny is a children’s book about the letters of the alphabet. In this book, Dewey is a cute, chubby orange cat who teaches the letters of the alphabet, complete with vocabulary words that are familiar to a cat. Each letter is presented on one page in a colorful font, accompanied by a six line poem that presents a word beginning with that letter. For example, A is for acrobat, B is for bath, and so on. Two photographs of Dewey are also included on each page to relate to the words representing that letter.
As a preschool English teacher, I am always on the lookout for new books to help teach kids the alphabet and phonics in fun and interesting ways. Every four-year-old I’ve ever met knows that A is for apple and B is for banana, so I was really looking forward to seeing some new vocabulary words as taught by a cat. The idea of a cat teaching the vocabulary is very cute, and some of the words are unique and well-used. I especially liked acrobat, cuddle, and hunt because I could easily see, thanks to the accompanying photographs, how these would pertain to a cat’s life.
A few of the words are a bit ordinary and not unique to this book at all (e.g., orange, tiger, x-ray), but it is easy to see how they relate to the cat. Other words seemed to be a bit of a stretch; for example, magic and urban. For these letters, I couldn’t really see the connection between the cat and these words, and the photos that appeared on these pages (and a few others as well) didn’t really match the poems. I think it would be better if the poems and the photos matched in some way. For example, the poem about “vacuum” says that Dewey is afraid of the vacuum, yet one photo on the page shows Dewey sleeping on a bed, and the other shows him sitting in a box. Speaking of the poems, most of them are written in first person from Dewey’s point of view, but then a couple of them switch to third person. Consistency throughout the whole book would be easier to read.
Using real photographs rather than illustrated artwork is an idea I have not come across before, and I really like this idea, in theory. However, it seems a bit obvious that these are not professional photographs, and they come across more like something we would find posted on social media rather than published in a book. In combination with the plain, white background and the simple layout of the pages, the overall quality of the book is just a bit too amateurish, even for a children’s book. Having a more colorful, exciting background or borders would be a big help, but cropping and editing the photos a bit or creating some kind of collage display with child-friendly graphics would also be beneficial in making the pages more exciting for children.
I love the idea of this book, but in its current state, I just couldn’t see myself sharing it with any of my young students. With some graphic editing and more colorful pages, I think that this could be made into something fun and exciting. As it is at the moment, I give this book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. I can only hope that something based on this original plan might pop up in my classroom some time in the near future.
Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite - 5/5 Star Rating
The Alphabet According to Dewey is a children’s educational book written and illustrated by Sheri-Lynn Kenny. Dewey is a big, orange-striped house cat, who loves water and is very smart. He has his own way of learning the alphabet, and he wants to share it with readers. Dewey promises that his way of learning will make it incredibly easy to remember each letter. Two of Kenny’s full-colour photographs of her most impressive feline accompany the page for each letter in the alphabet, ensuring that the reader’s full attention is placed on both the letter being taught and the very photogenic teacher doing the presentation.
Cat lovers of all ages will instantly become fans of the suave and debonair Dewey while he shows them how to master the alphabet in Sheri-Lynn Kenny’s educational children’s book, The Alphabet According to Dewey. As I read this book, I started compiling a list of people that I knew would love to read it -- and they’re not all children. Kenny’s photographs are marvelous! I especially enjoyed seeing Dewey as he obsesses over water and the bathroom sink, and when he’s relaxed in a variety of places and poses. Then there are the pictures from when he was a kitten ... need I say more? The Alphabet According to Dewey is a cut above the typical educational children’s book. It entertains and inspires as it teaches, and that’s a very good thing indeed. The language used in the text makes it a perfect story time read as well as an excellent primer for young readers. The Alphabet According to Dewey is most highly recommended.
Reviewed By Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite - 4/5 Star Rating
The Alphabet According to Dewey by Sheri-Lynn Kenny is a slightly different take on teaching the ABC and new words to kids. It is the ABC from the perspective of a cat. And we all know that cats have different priorities in life than mere humans. Each letter of the alphabet is accompanied by photos of Dewey (and in some cases also a few of his friends) and a verse about a word that starts with a certain letter.
I picked up The Alphabet According to Dewey by Sheri-Lynn Kenny because I was expecting something funny and charming, as that's what cats usually are if you manage to ignore their rather dubious character traits. I obviously have no need to learn the ABC, but sometimes I just like reading different takes on certain topics, e.g. the ABC. I found this little book quite charming, and funny in places. The photos of the cat(s) were nicely done in most cases. It is a lovely book, and definitely something to encourage kids who love cats to read a bit more and become friends with the ABC. If you have a cat-loving kid who is bored by learning the ABC and new words, then this book might be the game changer that you need.