An Animal ABC

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An Animal ABC
Alice Pattullo
Pavilion Books
Print-maker and illustrator Alice Pattullo’s animal screen prints are used as the basis of an awesome ABC book. This is so much more than a mere alphabet book though. We’re introduced to a veritable treasure trove of creatures large and small but these are not for the most part the normal go-to animals one finds in a child’s alphabet.

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Each creature is given a double spread with a multi-layered screen print picture of the animal on the right hand side named above in capitals, with (as a rule) a lower case Latin name beneath the illustration.
For her menagerie, rather than the strictly naturalistic colours one would expect for each animal, Pattullo has used hues of the earth, sea and sky to build up her images.
The left hand page has the initial letter as a capital with two lines below which form part of a rhyming couplet: ‘S/ is for sloth/ who smiles while asleep 

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followed by: T/ is for turtle/ who swims waters deep.’ …

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Below the rhyme in smaller print are two or three lines of information about the featured animal. Clearly this will be more of interest to adults or older siblings sharing the book with a young child.
There’s a final treat at the end in the form of twenty six vignettes – one per animal – and each is a small detail taken from the whole image, to be matched with the full sized picture earlier in the book: excellent for developing visual literacy.
Altogether a classy book to look at, discuss and linger over.

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