Exotic Alphabet

Marie Angel, Author Dial Books $12.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-8037-1247-8
This abecediary cum zoology primer doesn't bear up under more than superficial scrutiny. Spreads here are joined together, unfolding like an accordion in the manner of Angel's Woodland Christmas ; on one side, Angel's lushly colored, calm pencil-and-wash illustrations show a variety of labeled birds and beasts serenely gathered in their natural habitats; on the other side, the same illustrations drop the animal identifications, name the setting (e.g., ``An African Coastal Jungle'') and add flaps that conceal an alphabetically ordered succession of various creatures. The inside cover of each flap lists the featured initial in upper and lower case along with the name of the illustrated animal, which is shown opposite, entwined with a third representation of the initial. The animals don't always match the habitat (Why is the koala in a South American jungle?) and arrangement of the flaps seems arbitrary (the hidden hyena, for example, is placed in a tree). No labeled picture corresponds to the final lift-the-flap spread, so IDs of its subjects are inelegantly relegated to the copyright page, and the image behind those last flaps is a jumble of random letters and animals. All ages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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