From the Publisher
BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
This is a first choice for libraries, and it should be a welcome suggestion to parents seeking ideas for holiday shopping.
What makes this ABC book stand out are the photos: they're positively eye candy.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
...[S]umptuous...Zuckerman connects with his subjects to an uncanny degree.
Eye candy that makes learning one's ABCs pure pleasure.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
The power behind this thick, square alphabet book lies in the breathtaking photography....Based on photographs from Zuckerman's adult coffee table book Creature, this playful trip through the alphabet and nature will be visually inspiring for young children.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL'S A FUSE #8 PRODUCTION BLOG
A book to remind you what photography's really all about All things considered Creature ABC is perhaps one of the most beautifully photographed ABC books I've ever seen A jaw-dropping affair.
Zuckerman's striking animal photographs are put to excellent use in this book...
LIBRARY MEDIA CONNECTION
One can only envision the poetry and writing that would be encouraged by these amazing photographs.
Children will marvel at the portraits....the large format will make for fantastic lap-sit sessions.
Leonard S. Marcus
Animal alphabets have long been a mainstay of children's books, a resilient subgenre with a basic 26-part structure that provides ample room for all manner of graphic inventiveness. Zuckerman's signature white backdrops and minimal captions rendered in crisp, clean Helvetica Bold suit the format well, leaving the way clear for readers to lock eyes, largely undistracted, not only with a lion but also with a mandrill, hippopotamus, black bear, kangaroo and screech owl, to name a few.
The New York Times
Zuckerman's striking animal photographs are put to excellent use in this book—part abecedarian, part guessing game. Each letter is given two spreads. The first shows the letter in upper and lower case next to an animal; the second reveals the animal's name and offers a different view of the creature. Some touches are especially clever: a kangaroo and a lion seem to stare at each other during an interlude between K and L, and while the rest of the book features stark white backgrounds, the letter N is shown against black—a page turn uncovers a group of nocturnal animals. All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
With photographs so vivid it seems like readers could feel the sharpness of the scorpion's tail or the heat of the lion's breath as he roars, Andrew Zuckerman takes the alphabet for a walk on the wild side. Inspired by his popular coffee-table book Creature, this is no ordinary alphabet book. Each letter enjoys inclusion on two spreads to allow prediction of the entry based on the teaser image and letter, which is shown in both upper and lower case. Older children will enjoy unexpected twists in word selection that engage their vocabulary skills and knowledge of the animal world, such as the entry for I, which is accompanied by a photograph of ants. From a scaly alligator claw to a zebra's dashing stripes, Andrew Zuckerman's brilliant studio portraits of a wide variety of familiar and unusual animals, as well as the glossary with its interesting facts, make this alphabet book fascinating to readers of all ages. Teachers can incorporate this book into studies of animals, to launch discussions about texture in art, or for a creative writing project that assigns thoughts or speech to each of the animals based on its body language and facial expression. A sure hit with nature lovers, this engaging collection of images depicts the marvelous wonder of the animal world and will keep children fascinated long after they've learned their letters. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The power behind this thick, square alphabet book lies in the breathtaking photography. Striking zebra-skin endpapers lure readers into the book. On each spread, a letter of the alphabet is presented in large, bold font in its capital and lowercase form along with a teasing photograph. The page turn shows a more complete photograph and the word describing it. Usually the letters stand for one animal, such as "Ee" for "Elephant." But there are a few exceptions—such as the letter "Nn" denoting "Nocturnal" and "Qq" for "Quills." The portraits stand out sharply from the white backgrounds, helping to focus readers on the animals' stunning details and colors. A glossary offers tidbits of animal trivia about each of the 26 entries, which might inspire readers to seek out more information. Based on photographs from Zuckerman's adult coffee table book Creature (Chronicle, 2007), this playful trip through the alphabet and nature will be visually inspiring for young children.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
This adaption of Zuckerman's adult pictorial Creature (2007) uses white backdrops in striking juxtaposition with brilliantly detailed photographs to introduce animals and the ABCs. Children will marvel at the portraits, in which elephant freckles, mandrill stripes and porcupine quills appear in such startling clarity that the animals seem to breathe on the page. The design devotes two double-page spreads to each letter and animal. Young readers encounter upper- and lower-case characters first (Dd), along with an introductory shot. Then a turn of the page reveals the creature's name (dove) and another breathtakingly close picture. The placement of images remains compositionally compelling throughout, with animals appearing in motion, in fragments or relating with another creature. Readers find a glossary in the back, with fascinating facts about each animal embedded in a grid with ample white space and small pictures. Little ones just learning letters won't be able to hold this hefty book on their own, but the large format will make for fantastic lap-sit sessions. Older children won't tire of staring into the eyes and souls of such beautiful, mysterious creatures. (Picture book. 3-8)