cover image The ABC Animal Orchestra

The ABC Animal Orchestra

Donald Saaf. Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9072-7

Meadow-dwelling animals bring the noise in a raucous alphabet book that pairs them with alliterative musical instruments. For each letter, Saaf introduces multiple words, generating lively, whimsical scenes: “O is for owl playing his oboe. It’s also for octopus and organ.” On a spread for the letters L and M, a spiky-haired lion and a mouse scream at each other (the mouse has a megaphone), while a mermaid plays a mandolin in a nearby lake. Blending painted and collaged elements, Saaf’s images have a welcoming, folk-art vibe. Readers will practically hear the joyful noise as they spot the playful details in each spread, from smiling petunias that rest in a pot atop a piano to a grandmotherly elephant rocking out on her electric guitar. Ages 2–4. (Apr.)