Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Little ABC Book review

A Little ABC Book  
Jenny Palmer (2014)
Beat Books, 28pp, $25
An Alphabet book

Most alphabet books are intended for the very young but A Little ABC Book has been written for older children who delight in word play, puns and making interesting new additions to their vocabulary.  The 26 animals chosen by Auckland author-artist Jenny Palmer are an eclectic group, including the Bearded Dragon, Inchworm, Narwhal, Meerkat, Lynx, Unicorn and Xerus.
Each beast has its own handsome black and white illustration, showing it perched on the appropriate letter of the alphabet, accompanied by an amusing quirky poem.

The final verse of the Vole poem is a good example of the fun Palmer has with words.

Voles are very well-evolved,
for when push comes to shove,
Vole is (need we spell it out?)
an anagram of love.’  

The fun is inventive: ‘Wombats dig Australia,’ Elephants ‘blow their own trumpets’ and a Yeti has ‘cool hair.’

The book is handsomely designed with the large letters subtly blending into their background colour.  The text is perhaps a mite too small for grandparents to read but the kind of youngsters who delight in knowing that a family of sea otters is called a ‘raft’ or a ‘romp,’ will relish the fun.

Trevor Agnew

This review was first published in Your Weekend (Fairfax) on 31 Jan 2015 

Full publishing details:
A Little ABC Book  Jenny Palmer (2014) Beat Books [Beatnik Publishing, Auckland], 28pp, hardback $25
ISBN 978 0 9922648 0 2


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