Alligator Alphabet Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blackstone's (the Cleo the Cat series) minimal, workmanlike text ("Cc is for camel. Chase us if you dare!") takes a backseat to newcomer Bauer's vibrant and exuberantly brush-stroked acrylics. The paintings have a naïf quality, with their thickly applied paints, often underpainted, with perhaps the tip of the brush handle used to strip away some of the outer layer, adding dimension and texture. Each spread links the letter to its corresponding animal with some fanciful interaction: a turquoise mommy and baby emu with golden plumage contemplate an egg tucked inside the crook of a lowercase e; a fluffy white little llama and honey-hued lion cub lick a candylike letter l as their parents look on, beaming. There are no real surprises or creative alphabet pairings here, and unlike many contemporary animal-based primers, this one contains no afterword of "fun facts" on its subjects. Rather, the appeal of this book is strictly aesthetic: the saturated, fluorescent acrylics and genially rudimentary shapes brim with good cheer, while tacitly saluting readers' own artistic instincts. All ages. (Sept.)

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From School Library Journal

PreS–Parent-and-baby pairs from alligators to zebras playfully introduce the alphabet with a simple rhyme and snappy illustrations. Children will be delighted by the vivid colors and friendly animals, while adults will welcome the inclusion of both capital and lowercase forms to aid in letter recognition. One line of large text, which looks as if it had been printed by hand, fits neatly in a color block at the bottom of the page. Aa is for alligator./Bb is for bear./Cc is for camel./Chase us if you dare! Brilliant, fluid acrylics enliven the cheery verse. Large flat areas are dribbled with paint and accented with contrasting colors that create texture in the sloths' fur and the yaks' hair. An owl spreads its wings to expose a beautiful weblike design. Young eyes will eagerly spot other simple details, such as a small panda peeking through the P. Patterned borders frame each page and are then repeated in the striped endpapers. The book concludes with two spreads of small blocks that show all the animals and letters. This is one of the most attractive new alphabet books. The simplicity of the text and art proves once again that less is more.–Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

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