Review Blog

Mar 03 2016

Animal alphabet: Learn your letters by Jeannette Rowe

cover image

The Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760068837
(Ages: 3-5) This is part of the Giggle School range of preschool and early learning activity books for parents to use with young children. This is one of the first in the series - the other is Count on me. The books contain big, bright distinctive illustrations by Jeannette Rowe and were developed in consultation with an international education consultant. In the back of each book are some fantastic quick tips for parents about ways to support their child's early learning. This one starts by showing the whole alphabet, then looks at capital and lower case letters and names and sounds of letters before telling the reader that letters can make words. The text is appropriately simple and contains age-appropriate activities on each page (saying letter names, saying letter sounds, colouring, finding letters in words, writing their name).
The majority of the book follows an alphabet picture book concept showing each letter of the alphabet and some animals that begin with that letter. On the bottom of each of these pages, it shows how the letters are formed and has some dotted letters for the child to trace. The child also has to write the letter to finish one of the animals' names. (eg. -iger). All of the animals on these pages are already coloured, which means there is not much for the child to do. Interspersed with these pages are a few other activities, most of which involve colouring and tracing, good for developing fine-motor coordination. There is only one page (alternative letter sounds and blends, eg. Gi for giraffe) that seems inappropriate for the target level of the book.
A marketing point of these activity books is that they are full-colour, but this seems somewhat wasteful for books that may be used once and then discarded. However, if used well by parents, this could be a worthwhile tool (able to be used more than once), especially for letter and sound identification and letter formation.
Nicole Nelson

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