A Peaceable Kingdom by Alice and Martin Provensen

A Peaceable Kingdom is an unusual alphabet book that features an abecedarius — a poem where every first letter of every line or verse follows the sequence of the alphabet.

This abecedarius in particular was used by the Shakers, a religious sect in the 1880s who were known for their advanced education system, to teach the alphabet in a fun way — i.e. in the form of a rhyming list of more than a hundred animals, both real and imaginary.

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The Shaker abecedarius also has a natural rhythm to it that makes it fun to read aloud, while the Provensens’ delicately luminous artwork are an enchanting complement to this timeless poem.

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