cover image Animal Albums from A to Z

Animal Albums from A to Z

Cece Bell. Walker US, $19.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2624-9

Newbery Honoree Bell creates an entire high-fidelity world with this clever, irresistibly prodigious abecedarian, which features album cover art and one song’s worth of liner-note lyrics from 26 invented animal recording artists. The creaturely crooners—soloists and groups alike—represent each letter of the alphabet as well as musical genres ranging from classical to hip-hop, and album design aesthetics across the decades. Standing for S, Slow Surfin’ ’67 from the Sensational Sloth Boys sports a Pet Sounds–style cover and the ditty “Sometimes the Soup Is Salty” (“Sometimes the soup is salty/ But I’ll make it sweet for you”). Additionally, for each album, the creator has produced a song (accessed via a QR code) and provides a brief “About the Artists” note. Of the Sensational Sloth Boys, brothers Sam, Syd, and Slocum Slothum grew up in SoCal writing tunes about “teen crushes and soup” that made their fans snooze (describing a 1969 performance: “I fell asleep. It was the best nap I ever had”). For new listeners and seasoned audiophiles alike, this rigorously imaginative tour de force—conjured up from collaged, hand-painted paper and even a little embroidery—displays Bell’s goofy, deeply affectionate, no-detail-left-behind creativity, which turns each rockin’ concept “up to 11.” Ages 4–8. (Mar.)