This German abecedary uses an imaginative device in which a series of animals arrives at a new zoo.
Rhyming descriptions feature each creature’s characteristics as the zookeeper and his assistant interact with the new arrivals. “When she glided in across the rug, / Our ANACONDA gave me a hug. / As the first one here, I guess she’s the winner, / But why does she keep on mentioning dinner?” (Presumably the translation and the necessity to rhyme force the contextually peculiar “rug.”) The illustration shows the snake wrapped around the keeper and wearing his cap. The first-person narration is carried throughout. Some animal choices are unusual; D is for Dromedary, while C is for Chameleon, for instance. H is for Hare, not rabbit, and N is for Nile crocodile. For the challenging letters, Q is for Quoll, U for Uakari and X for Xinusil (a “martian…from the moon”). The interactions of the two men with the animals add some nuanced humor. The subtitle states the book is an ABC and a counting book, but the counting part is incidental; 26 numbers run across the tops of the pages, with each ascending number highlighted. There is no legend to the animals.
However appealing the device, this pales in comparison to the many other, superior animal alphabets already out there. (Picture book. 5-7)