On Beyond Zebra!

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
On Beyond Zebra! Book Poster Image
Mischievous verbal high jinks in made-up alphabet book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that On Beyond Zebra! imagines 20 new letters that come after Z, and Dr. Seuss provides the pronunciation and word examples that go with them. The story plays second fiddle to the verse, which is a wry bit of nonsense that will keep kids giggling and word lovers happy.

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What's the story?

As Dr. Seuss explains it, Z is a good letter, yes indeed--but so is YUZZ, which comes after Z, you see. And WUM and UM and THNAD and FLUNN, which come after YUZZ. More mischievous and mind-expanding verbal high jinks--and fabulous fictional creatures--from the master.


Is it any good?

Here is a lightening agent for the difficult work of learning the alphabet, both a gust of humor and a cautionary tale that we ought to be thankful only 26 letters constitute our alphabet. Readers can dig and dig in this book. The youngest can simply delight in having the loopy verse read to them while they scan the wild images. Older readers can have fun reading the words with brio and dash, accelerating up through those Nutches in their Nitches.

And before you read Dr. Seuss' pronunciation, you can decipher for yourself the sound of the new letter by the blend of letters Seuss has used in its making.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about different alphabets. Introduce the idea that different languages have different alphabets. Try coming up with some letters for your own alphabet.

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