From the sharp-toothed alligator to the final wild zebra, an arresting animal menagerie is presented.
Twenty-six alphabetical paintings feature individual animals from the forest, sky and sea. Their close-up blocky expressions intently study the audience while their lower bodies often slide right out of view. There’s no variation in perspective; the crab is as impressive a sight as the orca. The focus pleasantly shifts inward (the word “you” chosen for the letter Y), as a bare babe gives a lopsided grin. There are some original choices with the rich vocabulary (loon instead of lion, hare in place of rabbit.) Even the most challenging connections appear unforced; urchin and vole seem perfectly natural standing along with the prominent bear. The only text is the animals’ labels, with the emphasis on the first letter (except, not surprisingly, for oX). The nursery-inspired background palette includes robin's-egg blues, tangerine oranges and lemony yellows and peek through artful, intricate gaps in the animals’ outlines.
Always recognizable, these dreamlike creatures alphabetically enchant. (Board book. 1-3)