Review Blog

Nov 22 2018

Animalphabet by Julia Donaldson

cover image

Ill. by Sharon King-Chai. Two Hoots, 2018. ISBN 9781509801633
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Themes: Cut out. Animals. This alphabet book of animals will easily draw children's eyes across each page as they predict the next letter of the alphabet and wonder which animal will be offered when turning each wonder-filled page. The descriptions of each animal take in some of their characteristics, ensuring the reader learns a little as they read. On the first page we see a little ant and the reader is asked what is more beautiful. Turning the page they see a beautiful butterfly in all of its glory, and then they are asked what has more legs. Turning the page the answer is the caterpillar, and then the elephant follows with its size outstripping that of the caterpillar. In this way, Donaldson asks the reader to predict the animal starting with the next letter, and they can compare each as it appears. From A to Z, the animals appear, looming large on each page, filled with colour and wondrous backgrounds. But much more is there to lure the young reader.
Pages sometimes have a flap to lift, revealing the answer to the question posed on the previous page, or more information, while others have cut-outs to peer into the next page, or emphasise the shape of the animal in question. Each page will dazzle and delight, inform and tease, excite and enthral as the readers' eyes take in the detailed drawings before them. King-Chai, now living in London, brings a different style of illustration to this work, full of design features with enormous appeal.
Fran Knight

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