ABC Animal Rhymes For You And Me by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz
|ABC Animal Rhymes For You And Me by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Whilst there's plenty to appreciate in ABC Animal Rhymes, the repackaging of earlier books raises the expectations. Whilst poems and illustrations are pleasant enough for first-timers, they're not really special enough for a second helping.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: September 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
Repackaging some rhymes found in Rumble In The Jungle and Commotion In The Ocean, ABC Animal Rhymes For You And Me takes us through the alphabet, with rhymes about the angelfish, boa constrictor, crocodile, and so on.
It's a nice concept, and I'm always heartened to see an A to Z book that offers something a little bit different. The simple rhymes make it accessible for all, but the A to Z format calls for reading from cover to cover. I'm not so sure the poems are special enough for that sort of devouring. Indeed, if you already own Rumble In the Jungle or Commotion In The Ocean, it's unlikely that they're special enough for a separate purchase.
There's nothing explicitly bad about any of them poems, just that other anthologies are so much stronger. Think of, say, The Book Of Milliganimals, with its memorable tales of the Bald Twit Lion et al. ABC Animal Rhymes has pleasant enough poems about x-ray fish, yaks and zebras, but there's no twist or angle to them that cries out to be shared.
David Wojtowycz's illustrations suit the mood of the book - they're light-hearted, cartoony and fun. Children will enjoy the bright colours and seeing a wide range of creatures. Like the poems, they're pleasant enough, but there's nothing jaw-dropping about them - either with beauty or humour. As it's purely picture after picture of different animals, rather than telling a whole narrative, you don't get a range of emotions, actions and characteristics, which makes it harder to really connect with the illustrations.
There's plenty to appreciate in ABC Animal Rhymes, but because of the repackaging, the expectations should be higher. If you've never come across Rumble In The Jungle or Commotion In The Ocean, ABC Animal Rhymes is worth borrowing from the library. If you know the originals, then you could make a game of it by filling the gaps in the alphabet yourself.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
When I Dream Of ABC by Henry Fisher is an alphabet book with lashings of humour. Animal Gallery by Brian Wildsmith teaches you collective nouns of a wide range of animals, all with beautiful illustrations. For a particularly enjoyable set of poems (albeit without much connection to animals), check out Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen. And just because Spike Milligan is great, take a look at A Children's Treasury of Milligan by Spike Milligan and The Magical World of Milligan by Spike Milligan.
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