Review Blog

Nov 13 2020

The ultimate animal alphabet book by Jennifer Cossins

cover image

Hachette, 2020. ISBN: 9780734420091.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. What a wonderful book to get lost in: full of interest, but entertaining, informative and enlightening, turning some of the accepted ideas about alphabet books on their head, upending the idea of animal names being strictly formulated, making each reader engage their thought processes as they read. Now why has she included the grey great kangaroo under G, not K, or why does the keel-billed toucan appear on the K page not the T. Questions are posed on every double page, each covered with a variety of splendidly illustrated birds and animals, some of which are accompanied by a witty bit of information.
I turned to R to look up my favourite animal, the rhinoceros, having just been to Monarto Zoo to view the rhino and its calf, but it was not to be found on the R page. I thought about its full name and turned to W to spy the white rhino at the bottom of the page, accompanied by its calf learning from the information given that it is the second largest land animal in the world, males weighing in at 3600 kilos.
Also on the W page, is the Wyandotte chicken, willie wagtail, weedy sea dragon, Wilson's bird of paradise, the white bellied sea eagle, wildebeast and a whistling heron. Each image will entertain younger readers as they pore over the illustrations making note of the intricate drawings, and take in the information given.     
In large format, the bright yellow cover is attractive and mesmerising, challenging the reader to identify the birds and animals shown on the front cover, daring them to open the book and find which page the animal appears on.
A lovely book to challenge little minds, impelling them to look more closely a the words used to describe the animal and reposition their own thoughts about an alphabet book and just how an alphabet book works.
Tasmanian author/illustrator Cossins is a CBCA award winner, and well known for her A-Z of endangered animals, as well as 101 collective nouns.
Themes: Animals, Birds, Alphabet, Words, STEM.
Fran Knight

BUY IT ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries