Letters of the West: An ABC Book of the Many Plants, Animals, and Other Curious Features of the West
Written by Michelle E. Walch and John Maddin | Illustrated by John Maddin

A is for Alpenglow, F is for Foxglove, X is for Xeriscape, and Z is for Zigzag! The wilderness of the West is captured in this alphabet book showcasing the grand and marvelous plants, animals, and curious features found from British Columbia to Baja, California. Filled with landscape marvels, Letters of the West invites young readers to learn their ABCs through delightfully bold and whimsical illustrations inspired by the natural world.

Price: $17.99 US, $21.99 CAN
Age: 4 and up
ISBN: 9781940052106
Format: Hardcover



Author Michelle E. Walch was born and raised in rural Oregon, and has lived in Oregon most of her life. After earning a B.A. in English at the University of Oregon, she has traveled and lived all over, including Alaska, Israel, and Africa. She is married to the artist John Maddin and their daughter was the inspiration in the creation of this book.

Author and artist John Maddin holds a BFA in Illustration from the Pacific NW College of Art. He likes movies, dinosaurs, listening to rock ‘n roll while doing art, teaching his daughter how to spend way too much time playing video games, and spends his free time plucking cat hair off his clothes. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, the writer Michelle E. Walch.

“Fixtures in Oregon’s artistic community, writer Michelle E. Walch and illustrator John Maddin collaborated on a book cataloguing their experiences in nature on hikes along the Pacific coast. The result is the picture-perfect Letters of the West: An ABC Book of the Many Plants, Animals and Other Curious Features of the West. […] Letters of the West by Michelle E. Walch and John Maddin is a worthwhile read, a gorgeous abecedary and relevant classroom resource on the flora, fauna and features of the Western wilderness.”


“I think it is a beautiful book and the inclusion of scientific names is very neat. I even learned a new word, “alpenglow,” referring to “when the mountains light up in a rosy hue before sunrise or sunset.” […] This is appropriate for all ages but I would say it skews to older kids that can appreciate the invitation the book seems to have for spotting what is native to their area.”


“This is a wonderful A to Z picture book but written at a more advanced level. This is an ideal book for Literacy Programs!”

—Rockin’ Book Reviews