#506 – A is for . . . Applesauce author Julie Affleck and artist Alexander Mac Adam

a for applesauceA is for Applesauce

author Julie Affleck and artist Alexander MacAdam

MacAdam Visual Media

CreateSpace      12/06/2013


Age 7 to 12         54 pages



“A is for Applesauce is the first in the Arthur & Zita Alphabet Book series. Nine year old Zita loves WORDS! and her favourite book is the DICTIONARY! Today is “A WORDS DAY”. While she and her younger brother Arthur await the arrival of awesome Aunt Alice, Zita searches for all the words she can that begin with the letter A. A is for Applesauce tells of a trip to the Animal Zoo cut short, and other commotions, accompanied by A Words such as applesauce, ants, attempted arrest, angel food cake, awards, arguing, and antics. As a “day in the life” family adventure with expressive and colourful illustrations, A is for Applesauce is a read alone or read aloud book to be enjoyed by both children and parents. A is for Applesauce is a good choice to expand your child’s A Words vocabulary using A Words in context and with a lively A WORDS GLOSSARY at the end of the story.”


“My name is ZITA. ZITA starts with a zed. And zed is the very last, but certainly NOT the least, letter of the ALPHABET. And I love the ALPHABET. All those lovely letters!”

The Story

Zita loves the alphabet and makes today an A-Day in honor of her Aunt Alice, but not for her little brother Arthur. Aunt Alice is visiting today and taking the kids to the alphabetized e zoo. The zoo tour, um, I mean adventure, begins with the A-animals. The adventure had aardvarks—astounding because there were three, not animals, but A’s; and two A’s starting the word aardvark—alligators, alpacas, amphibians, apes, and ants. That is where the adventure stopped, at ants. Arthur let the ants out and one-by-one those ants attacked the other zoo adventurers, all but Arthur. The ants must have appreciated Arthur opening their Plexiglas farm. The zookeepers were not and shut down the zoo, even after the aardvarks cleaned up the ants for lunch. Arthur was aggravating, and additional trouble was on its way.

5 3

Aggravating                                   Aggravated


At Kid Lit Reviews, we are absolutely amazed at the abundance of A’s in the astounding story involving Zita and her aggravating little seven-year-old brother Arthur. Zita loves finding and using new words. I like the idea of a letter day and hope the author and illustrator have the energy to see this series all the way to Z. That Zita’s mom and Aunt Alice help add words is a wonderful idea that I hope parents and other adults continue with their own children. Having her aggravating, trouble-making little brother along allows Zita to define some of the harder words. Arthur also adds much conflict to the story. I wonder if he will age along with the series, adding his own words to the story—maybe even needing to define them to Zita!


In addition to a great A-Day story, the book has a glossary of every A-word used in the story. Kids will love this glossary as it is nothing like a normal one. Instead of words in alphabetical order with definitions, this glossary has the words grouped according to the letter following the first A. Each word is inside a circle, a square, and even a spider; any shape might do here. This may not make it any easier for kids to remember the words, but it is much fun for the eyes.

For parents and teachers who like to take books like A is for . . . Applesauce and make it even more educational, a workbook is available. A is for . . . Applesauce Word Play lets kids match words to definitions; they can find words from the story and finish sentences; find hidden words, complete a word scramble, and much more.  I do not think the intended age is a good fit. The story is not high concept, and the words are not extremely difficult. I would say A is for . . . Applesauce fits children age 4 to 8, or, at most, 7 to 9. Some words may be harder for the first group, yet I think A is for . . . Applesauce nicely complements what these age groups are learning in school. In full disclosure, I am not a teacher, so I hope teachers out there respond.


The illustrations are colorful, eye-catching, and appropriate. Wait, that’s not right, not right at all, not for book A. The illustrations are astounding, absorbing, and action-packed. Affectionate Aunt Alice and accommodating mom add additional A-Words. Aggravating little brother Arthur is actually attractive when not being annoying. Adolescents will absorb the academic adventure and find the animated actors amusing. Adults will appreciate the artwork, the (un)ambiguous A-Word glossary, and the attentive A is for . . . Applesauce Word Play.

There is not much wrong with this book, except Word Play, best spelled Wordplay. That is how good this book is, a spelling error and shooting for age 10 to 12. For a debut children’s author, Julie Affleck has written a fine series that will only get better as time and skills improve.


Did you guess that A is for . . . Applesauce, is the first in a series of a lot of books? Can you figure out how many? There is much to look forward to in this series. The next is titled B is for . . . Bubblegum. I think kids will enjoy the stories and the word play in this amazing, bill-of-fare, carefully, defined, and envisioned, for girls (and boys). Oh, and yes, applesauce is in the story.


A is for . . . Applesauce & A is for . . . Applesauce Word Play can be seen HERE.

Acquire the above assortment at AmazonB&NAuthor’s Abodeask your local bookstore.


Audit the author, Julie Affleck     website     facebook     twitter     smashwords     G+     goodreads     amazon page

Attentive to artist, Alexander MacAdam     website      google site

Artist’s abode, MacAdam Visual Media     website


A IS FOR . . . APPLESAUCE. Text copyright © 2013 by Julie Affleck Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Alexander MacAdam. Reproduced by permission of MacAdam Visual Media, Prince Edward Island, Canada.


Also by Julie Affleck & Alexander MacAdam

book 2.


B is for . . . Bubblegum

C is for . . .  Calastrophe


a for applesauce


30 thoughts on “#506 – A is for . . . Applesauce author Julie Affleck and artist Alexander Mac Adam

  1. Ok, you had WAY too much fun writing this review! I’m so impressed with all the alliteration and wordplay in the review, I can hardly wait to read the book. Thanks for sharing this review at Booknificent Thursday!!! I loved it and am pinning it to my new Pinterest board of great book reviews – http://www.pinterest.com/mommynificent/great-book-reviews/ Please let me know if you’d enjoy being invited to pin onto that board yourself!


  2. This looks like so much fun. I love that you have visited and commented here, Julie. Nice work with your debut book – I look forward to checking it out. Great review, Sue.
    ~Cool Mom 🙂


    • Thank you Stanley and/or Katrina. I have been wondering, are you two really one pretending to be two? I never know which of you is commenting, but I am glad you, or one of you, do. I also love it when the author stops by to reply to comments. I try to remember to invite every author, but many are too busy. It’s a shame. I think fans appreciate a reply from the author or illustrator–or a character. I love talking to a book’s characters.


      • Zita would be funny to talk to, with her ‘I know everything’ attitude’. But you could meet my 12 year old daughter-no her name is not Zita but some of her sass and words and attitude……..yeah, sadly, yes. I’m glad she’s learning to be herself! (sometimes.)


        • Yeah, with girls the more they pull away from mom the more they are growing up. I think you’ll find each other close again. After she is past the “my mom embarsses me everywhere we go. Why can’t she be better in public?” stage. Why is it parents become socially inept when their kids become adolescents? 🙂


        • It sounds like Zita likes using words as much as I do!
          ~Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge


      • Hee hee. That is why we usually sign our posts – that one above was Cool Mom (she did remember to sign the post this time). She does much of our visiting for us since I’m busy taking naps; Stanley is running around; and Neighbor Girl has school. I decided to help her a bit today. Guess what? Cool Mom is actually in the process of writing an article to authors encouraging them to visit book bloggers who take time to review their book. It sounds like she is not alone in her thinking.
        ~Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge


  3. I love when uncommon words are used to teach the alphabet and it looks like this book has that 😀 And I’m thinking the characters shouldn’t age through the series since teaching the alphabet might not work with the characters being teenagers 🙂


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