Owls Are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet

illus. by Jacob Grant. 40p. Random. Dec. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524713317.
PreS-K—A wide array of animals in unlikely yet interesting situations. "A" is for Alligators, who, "…think you'd like them if you got to know them," and "Z" for Zebras "…would like to be first. Just once." It is true that lions do like a nice nap, but the majority of scenarios range from silly to outright absurd in terms of animal behavior. On the other hand, they refer to the wants and needs of little ones. Just like bears, children "…want their mothers to kiss it better; " like chipmunks, they "…love to stay up past bedtime." Some are downright amusing: "Jellyfish don't care if you think they look funny when they dance." Grant's illustrations, all in soft, subtle shades of pink, olive green, and browns, are as endearingly gentle as a lullaby. It is also useful that uppercase and lowercase letters are presented together. The colors of the images are somewhat subtle, but this does not detract from the overall appeal to many young children learning their ABCs while being introduced to some new and commonplace animals.
VERDICT A strong choice that could potentially be used to inspire children to create their own animal alphabet books, whether factual, silly, or both, particularly after a group storytime.

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