An eight-inch square book, with a six-inch square illustration on each page, illustrating--in sturdy black line and rich-toned watercolor--letters of the alphabet. Each picture includes one or more animals plus various objects that also begin with the relevant letter. Occasionally, a small drama is suggested, most notably the fox who is about to be hit by a flute wielded by a frog, before the fox can fry an apprehensive fish over a fire. Sometimes there is no action: a swan floats on reflected stars. And some of the illustrations derive humor from odd juxtapositions: a quail and a queen, an iguana with an ice-cream cone. The animals, but not the objects, are identified on a final page. McPhail's illustrations are attractive--in style, design, the cozy depiction of his animal characters, and in his luminous use of light and sunset colors. But, unfortunately, the content here is mildly diverting at best; there is no unifying theme, and nothing new has been said.