With shelves full of ABC books and animal-baby books, is there room for another one that combines the two?
The ZooBorn brand by Bleiman and Eastland presents 26 baby animals that will have children keening to their parents, “Can I have one?” Similar to their title ZooBorns (2010), each page has an adorable close-up photograph of a baby animal from Anteater to "ZOOBORNS!" Lions and giraffes, vicuñas and dholes appear in between, among others. The graphic image of each capital letter includes a silhouette of the adult animal, along with a quote from the baby about its young life. The baby panda, lying flat like a rug, says, “Phew…I’m flat-out pooped from playing with my panda pals.” This is more about ramping up cuteness than actually providing information on the species represented, and the language is at odds with the ABC format. While the panda example has the appropriate phonetic reinforcement, others do not. The hardest words to read will be the animal names; nyala (a type of antelope) and Ural owl may trip up adult readers as well as children. The endnotes include conservation-status information with a short description on the specific animal and its zoo home. But that is just dressing on simply adorable infants.
If looking for cuteness, pick this one. For alphabet learning, try something else. (Picture book. 4-8)