This interactive alphabet book describes a dinosaur day at school.
Each double-page spread features one to four letters of the alphabet, accompanied by a couple of lines of rhyming verse. Words in the verse that start with the featured letter(s) are flagged by colorful type, but they are not always strong or memorable choices. For example, the word associated with the letter “A” is “agree” in the following verse: “Busy little dinosaurs, / as a rule, / agree it’s fun / to go to school.” Further, the verses don’t always make for smooth reading, and the “Back-and-Forth” concept falls flat. At the end of the volume, readers are told to “go back to the cutouts / for surprises and fun. / Guess the letters things start with / and then you’ll be done!” Flipping backward, the cutouts appear on every other double-page spread, framing an object that begins with one of the featured letters from that page. Readers can spot them and guess what letter they begin with, yes, but there is no surprise and nothing to be gained from going backward, as these objects appear in the cutouts on a regular read-through just the same. The illustrations are cheerful and often funny, but they can’t make up for the shortfalls here.
With so many wonderful ABC books out there, it’s safe to skip this ambitious but ultimately disappointing effort. (Board book. 2-5)