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8: An Animal Alphabet Hardcover – July 28, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—More than an oversize alphabet book (and slightly less than most counting books). Cooper's 8 is filled with playful representations of animals both familiar and exotic. He explains that he chose the number "because 8 is round and adorable…not too big, and not so small, but just right." Each letter features several different animals including one type that's depicted eight times, which is what encourages the counting element of the book. Some may quibble that the animals are not drawn to scale (for instance, a dung beetle should not appear as large as a deer's tail), but the fun of seeing eight varieties of hummingbirds or being introduced to a yabby surely outweighs such petty complaints. All of the creatures are identified in the formidable pictorial "Did You Know?" section at the back. VERDICT Unusual in its conception and scope and illustrated with joy, this is an alphabet book to pore over, worth adding to any collection.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY
* "Cooper's loose watercolor images are arranged harmoniously against spacious white backgrounds…The heavy paper will withstand repeated viewings, which are guaranteed. Don't get behind the eight ball: order now; it's great fun." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "It’s a feast of fauna!" -- Booklist, starred review
* "Illustrated with joy, this is an alphabet book to pore over, worth adding to any collection." -- School Library Journal, starred review
* "A skillfull blending of counting and matching elements into an animal-themed abecedary." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
Praise for Train :
* "A poetic, beautifully conceived book." --Booklist, starred review
* "The loose watercolor-and-pencil artwork hums with activity and energy." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Cooper's signature sun-bleached watercolors beautifully convey human achievements and nature's grandeur through both detail and a range of scale." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
Praise for Farm :
* "It's as thorough and pleasing an introduction to a farm as one could ask of a picture book." -- The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
* "The graceful text and serenely stunning illustrations create a portrait both reverent and realistic." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
Praise for Beach :
Society of Illustrators Gold Medal (2006)
"Cooper's portrayal of a day at the shore is generous with such minutiae; his fondness for his subject is evident and infectious." -- School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations were created with paint. Unfortunately, they did not lend themselves well to the busy layout of this book. The animals are a little bit muddy. Add to that an ENTIRE page full of animals and it becomes very challenging to find each named animal. The pages are also lacking in color which decreases visual interest.
THE GOOD: This is a different type of ABC book. It is more of a seek and find and encyclopedia combined. At the bottom of each page is a list of the animals for that letter and you must seek each animal on the page. Plus, there are 8 of one of the animals to seek and count. Why 8? Because it is the author's favorite number. This book would be good for grades 1-2 classrooms and used with an animal unit. It is an opportunity to learn a large amount of new animal vocabulary. Children who need a challenge or who love animals will enjoy this book.
THE NOT AS GOOD: As stated above, the pages are very very busy. For the littlest ones trying to learn their ABCs or for pre-readers, this is very challenging. Many of the animals are not common animals so this is not a quick read-a-loud, but rather a learning opportunity that will take several sittings to get through. I did not know some of the animals and would have to look them up before being able to point them out to a child (such as a quoll, uakari, and kakapo).
AGE RECOMMENDATION: Advertised for ages 3-5, but lends itself better if used as an encyclopedia of animals for grades 1-2. If used for ages 3-5, I recommend using it for learning time rather than story time.