Nonfiction – Creature ABC

Technically, this is a picture book, not a nonfiction book. But it’s teaching the alphabet, and it has gorgeous pictures of animals, complete with interesting facts, so I’m going to let it slide and just call it nonfiction.

Children love animals. This is a largely undisputed fact. Children also need to (eventually) learn the alphabet. So why not combine the two? Andrew Zuckerman has taken his phenomenal photographs from his coffee-table sized book Creature and paired them with letters to create a visually stunning abecedarian. A pair of upper and lower case letters appears in stark black against a white background. On the opposite page is a closeup of an animal, also against a white background. Turn the page and there is another image of the animal, this time with a label. Most of the time there is a direct animal/letter correlation, other times the letter stands for a group (such as insect or nocturnal.)

The photographs used are stunning (have I mentioned that already?) Older children who have already long since mastered their letters will likely be intrigued simply by the pictures. Placing the animals against a white background, rather than within their usual habitat means that one can focus entirely on the animal instead of being distracted by the environment. A tour de force.

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