Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Alphabet Animals: A slide-and-peek adventure

Alphabet Animals: A slide-and-peek adventure

Suse MacDonald
Novelty Book
For ages 2 to 4
Simon and Schuster, 2008   ISBN: 978-1416950455

Most children have a fondness for animals, and authors and illustrators have been capitalizing on this for decades, creating alphabet books featuring furry, feathered, finned, scaly, and slimy creatures. Now Suse MacDonald has joined this party with her very clever and interactive alphabet book.

For each letter of the alphabet Suse MacDonald has created a picture of an animal. The animal's name begins with the letter of the alphabet on which page its sits and - and this is what makes things interesting - the animal is shaped into that letter. So on the A page we see an alligator and it is bent into an A shape. On the D page a rather bemused looking dragon sits in such a way that it makes a D shape with its body. There are no words on the picture pages at all.

Instead on every page there is a tab that can be pulled to reveal a hidden page. Each pull-out page reveals the letter of the alphabet for that page and the name of the animal. Little children will greatly enjoy seeing that their guesses were right and that C is for cat and P is for parrot.

Suse MacDonald's colorful cut paper illustrations are both charming and enormously creative. Her book Alphabatics was chosen for a Caldecott Honor in 1987