Book Review: Alphabets Are Amazing Animals
There’s beauty in alliteration. The repetition of the first consonant creates a cadence in writing and speech that, when used well, is poetic. Alphabets Are Amazing Animals is written entirely in alliteration and is a wonderful way to teach kids vocabulary, sentence structure, and rhythm in the English language.
Throughout the book, author Anushka Ravishankar creates sentences around different animals. She chooses a unique species for each letter (A is for Anteaters, B is for Buffaloes, and so on), then pairs the animal with a verb and completes the sentence with an object or adverb. Voila!
The sentences are silly – “Dull donkeys dance daily” or “Messy mice make macaroni” – but that’s okay. This book isn’t about reality; it’s about introducing kids to words and basic sentences. Christiane Piper’s bold illustrations accompany the sentences, making a lazy lion licking a lollipop, or plump penguins playing ping pong, come to life. But they aren’t the bright and cheery drawings you associate with children’s books. Each animal gets a pen-and-ink drawing in black, white and a single other bright hue. It’s a refreshing, minimalist look that stands out from all the multi-hued books competing for your child’s attention.
This story for kids is ideal for children who are just starting to read. The simple sentences teach basic sentence structure, the variety of words builds vocabulary, and the use of alliteration develops meter and inflection. For kids with speech impediments, this book could also be a fun way to work on shaping sounds correctly. It’s best read to small children, even kids as young as 18 months, who afterward would take pleasure in creating their own simple, silly, sibilant sentences.