Creature ABC

Common Sense Media says

Part alphabet book, part captivating animal encounter.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

These fascinating portraits show animals in a whole new light -- the detail is stunning. A glossary in the back provides information about each animal.

Positive messages

The animals photographed here command respect and admiration. Some shots are playful or cute, but none treat these creatures as adorable playthings.

Positive role models
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Creature ABC is a this lovely book that uses wonderful wildlife photos to help teach the alphabet. There are some bared teeth and claws, but they aren’t at all frightening -- kids will most likely lean in close to get a good (and safe) look at these amazing animals.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

This massive ABC book features two photographic spreads for each letter. The first two pages present the letter in both upper and lower case with a portrait of the featured animal; the second spread presents another portrait and the animal’s name.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The bold, simple presentation of this striking book belies the complexity of the images. Andrew Zuckerman’s photographs encourage viewers to regard wild animals in a whole new way. Close-up portraits and focused partial shots invite readers to marvel at the toenails of an elephant, admire the flexibility of a giraffe’s neck, and go eye to eye with a lion. Some of the letter associations are obvious -- A for alligator, for example -- but some of the choices are pleasant surprises. N showcases nocturnal animals, J introduces a jackrabbit, and Q features a wonderful shot of a porcupine’s quills. A glossary provides more information about the featured creatures. The only flaw is the heft of this large book: Small hands won't be able to handle it on their own. But adults will be happy to pore over it with them, again and again.
 

Arresting portraits against a white background are simply beautiful.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the puzzle-like glimpses on some of the alphabet pages. Try to guess each animal. With children who are just learning their letters, reinforce the letter sounds to help them guess.

  • Explore the textures and details in each picture. Did you realize elephants were so hairy? Point out how feathers separate in outstretched wings, how different the two pictured frogs are, and so on.

Book details

Author:Andrew Zuckerman
Genre:Alphabet
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Chronicle Books
Publication date:July 29, 2009
Number of pages:120
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:3
Read alone:5
Available on:Hardback, Kindle

This review of Creature ABC was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 0 years old December 30, 2009
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