Saturday, December 22, 2012

Animal Alphabet photos by F. Vopat text by JF Burkegs

I thought tonight I might just share the oldest book in my personal collection - a book that I adored as a child - Animal Alphabet.  I should first mention all the photos are black and white - which now looks quite charming.

I especially remember I loved the end papers (see below), the photo of the lamb and the mysterious Ibex.  Looking at this book now I see the animal choices are quite odd.  There is a horse for H and a Foal for F, Farm animals mingle with zoo and wild creatures and the Hedgehog is not on the H page but rather U for urchin.

"Urchins are often called hedgehogs or hedgepigs though really they are not very like pigs. They are friendly and useful creatures, which eat slugs and other harmful insects.  Some people make pets of them. At first they roll up so that their prickles stick out, but they soon get to know people who are kind to them."

Two things I notice about this text - for an alphabet book intended for a very young audience it seems very wordy and I am not really sure slugs are harmful.

We have a terrific collection of alphabet books in our library.  My favourite is by Satoshi Kitamura What's inside the alphabet book.

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