Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Alphabet


An Occupational ABC

by (author) Kellen Hatanaka

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Aug 2014
Alphabet, Careers
Recommended Age
3 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 3
Recommended Reading age
3 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2014
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Download Handout

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


An alphabetical tour through the coolest jobs you can imagine—and some you might never have heard of! With a sophisticated, minimalist design and visual jokes to interpret on every page, Work: An Occupational ABC introduces children both to the alphabet and to a range of alternative careers.

The ideal reader for this book is the child (or adult) who is interested in exploring all manner of professions through original and inspired illustrations. Must be open to adventure. Knowledge of the alphabet is desirable but not required, since successful applicants will receive training from A to Z.

About the author

KELLEN HATANAKA is a designer and illustrator who lives in Stratford, Ontario, with his family. He has written and illustrated Work: An Occupational ABC (an ALA Notable Children’s Book) and Drive: A Look at Roadside Opposites. He also illustrated Tokyo Digs a Garden, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award.


Kellen Hatanaka's profile page


  • Commended, An ALA Notable Children's Book
  • Commended, Huffington Post Best Picture Books of the Year: Concept Book

Editorial Reviews

The sophisticated design and use of white space give the book flair, and it can be an effective springboard for use in the classroom.

Kirkus Reviews

Hatanaka weaves bold graphics and soft shades into a tapestry of tender vignettes about people of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Brain Pickings

Occupations from aviator through zoologist are highlighted in this breezy alphabet book. . . . Fun and absorbing.


Hatanaka’s inclusive and wry portrayal of 26 occupations turns fewer than 100 words into magic.

Quill & Quire

Work is just too much fun, fun, fun. Canadian designer/artist Hatanaka’s whimsical style infuses each unexpected occupational letter with so much more than a single word.


A beautiful and unexpected piece of art for the youngest readers . . . as much a delight to read as it is to behold.

Deakin Review of Children's Literature

Other titles by Kellen Hatanaka

Related lists