A beastly cacophony of read-aloud fun from A to Z.
This “rather noisy alphabet” invites a spirited, call-and-response reading from caregivers and young children, who can brush up on their animal sounds and their ABCs at the same time. Rendered in cartoonish but friendly fashion—even the loud, growling tiger wears a big, warm grin—a variety of animals squeak, chirp, and howl their way through this unevenly rhymed but generally appealing board book. The action plays out over a series of two-page scenes in settings that range from barnyard to brook to forest to glacier to African veldt. Great poetry the text is not, but it is serviceable at least most of the time: “We Arf, we Buzz, we Baaah, we Coo. / We Chirp and Cluck and cock-a-doodle Doo!” Each featured letter of the alphabet is capitalized in context, even when it’s not the first letter of the word, as in, “we eXitedly twitter.” Most of the rhymes flow pretty smoothly, although the text does, on occasion, abandon meter to an awkward and confusing degree: “On Ice we bark, in water we Jump, on snow we Kiss… / We Lick, we Laugh, we snap like this.” Most of the featured sounds are utterances, although a few describe an animal’s locomotion (“Vrooom” and “Zoom,” for example).
Not perfect but maybe just right for a raucous reading or 12. (Board book. 1-4)