From Publishers Weekly
Urging children to "Arch," "Balance" and "Charge" like familiar animals, Animal Action ABC by Karen Pandell is an imaginative and dynamic alphabet book. The large format pairs brilliant nature photographs (by Art Wolfe) with photo silhouettes (by Nancy Sheehan) of children mimicking the animals' movements. For example, as rhyming text exhorts readers to "Inflate like a frigatebird," a photo shows the bird puffing out its enormous red throat pouch; another photo shows a girl blowing up a red balloon. Detailed endnotes crown the work. Grandmother's Alphabet by Eve Shaw presents a gallery of talented and inspiring grandmothers: "Grandma is an Artist, she paints with colors bright/ Grandma is a Businesswoman who often works at night." Along with the rhyming verse, running text suggests other professions, too. For the letter "Q," for example, Grandma can be a quilter, quartet member or quality controller "...and so can
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4^-6. This is not so much a vehicle for teaching the alphabet as it is an opportunity to help children learn action words and let them get the wiggles out by imitating animals. From Arch
, 26 action words, each headed by a different letter of the alphabet, are introduced, each accompanied by a pleasant verse that links the word to an animal. For example, W
("Wrestle / like two tigers / Grappling with each other / But soon you'll stop / to stare at / And honor / one another.") is shown alongside a photo of tigers at play. A cutaway photo of a child or children mimicking the animal's action is presented with each letter-word-poem combination. The poetry is sometimes strained (and sometimes just too silly), and the layout, though spacious, looks too chopped up. But the idea is wonderful and carried through well enough to make the book a source of fun for children and inspiration for their teachers. Stephanie Zvirin