The Tragically Hip ABC

Tundra. Oct. 2023. 32p. ed. by ed. by Drew Macklin. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781774881248.
Adult/High School–Four Canadian illustrators—Hanmer, Julia Breckenreid, Bridget George, and Monika Melnychuk—decorate the pages in an homage to the Canadian band The Tragically Hip. Each letter of the alphabet stands for one of the songs the band released during their almost 40-year career. “A is for Ahead by a Century,” “B is for Bobcaygeon,” etc. Canada geese, beavers, raccoons, moose, polar bears, puffins, and other animals are featured in the illustrations. For “E is for Everytime You Go,” although the original lyrics are meant for adults, the illustration shows a father beaver wearing a plaid shirt and a hardhat carrying a chainsaw and waving to his tearful child who is peering out a window. This is an unusual juxtaposition of a picture book geared for children concerning a band whose songs are for grown-ups. Youngsters may enjoy perusing the pictures and the song titles may be nostalgic for adults, but together they are puzzling.
VERDICT This picture book will have difficulty in finding an American audience and may appeal mostly to adult Canadians familiar with the band’s music.

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