with Wild Animalsby Melanie Watt
This version is completely charming. The illustrations in The Alphabet: Learning wiht Animals are simple yet descriptive, and the backgrounds show each wild animal's appropriate habitat with very few elements. It's just right for little kids. I also really like that the opening spread shows all the featured animals grouped together. Something different, and nice. Some of the more unusual (for an ABC book) and interesting animals here are the quetzal (a fantastic Central American bird), narwhal, monarch butterfly, salamander, tuna fish, orangutan, xerus (a ground squirrel) and unau (the two-toed sloth). I did have a few small quibbles with the book, though. One is the W animal: wapiti. I thought elk was a more common name for this animal, I don't know why you would introduce children to the less-used term (I would also have used the sloth for S not U, but I know it's hard to think of a U animal! the last book I saw had unicorn). The elephant's trunk on the E page looks awkward: too big, like a chopped hose. And the rhinocerous looks like he has cloven hooves, not three-toed feet. Small things, but I started to notice them after so many readings.
rating: 3/5 ........ 30 pages, 2003