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MY BEASTIE BOOK OF ABC by David Frampton


by David Frampton & illustrated by David Frampton

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: April 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-028823-X
Publisher: HarperCollins

The one-page-per-letter format is not new, but here each letter is accompanied by a distinct and unusual piece of verse. Above and below each large, colored woodcut, a rhyme—not always exact—describes that page’s animal. The descriptions are both funny and surprising: “K is for kangaroo. If I’m not mistaken, she has a small pouch, just right to keep cake in.” The child reader is included in the narrative by hypothetical possibilities: “H is for hippo with mouth open wide. You could easily fit a tricycle inside. But then, it might be too yucky to ride.” Adult humor, too, is given a place: “Q is for quail, found in woods dark and tall. But not for too long, they’re building a mall.” The number of lines per rhyme varies a bit, as does the rhythm of each verse; a few are slightly awkward and seem to have the wrong number of syllables. However, their humor overshadows that issue. The illustrations are colored with low intensity, creating an organic feeling that matches the woodcut medium. Animals range from newts to sea urchins to “xog, an unusual pup. I don’t think you’ll see one. I just made him up.” Although an audience over four years will be too old for this genre, new readers of five or six may relish the chance to read these silly rhymes out loud to younger siblings. (Picture book. 2-4)