The team that brought you the bubbly, confidence-building Giraffes Can't Dance again tickles your funny bone with this fauna-crazy ABC book that's pure pleasure. Although "A is for apple that grows on a tree / B is for busy and big bumble-bee" sounds like your average ABC book, Andrea and Parker-Rees's letters burst into life, taking on a pizzazz all their own. Brightly colored critters striking hilarious poses and performing laugh-out-loud stunts cover every page, such as the blissfully full cat -- "C is for cat who has got all the cream" -- relaxing on a cushion, surrounded by crocuses, with a canary and a chocolate cake nearby. Likewise, a robot on roller skates zooms along a trail in "R is for robot and racing machine," followed by a rocket-driving raccoon, a rabbit in a carrot-mobile, and more. All 26 letters are loaded with items to get readers thinking, and if you're not sure if you've overlooked something, the creators have even provided a partial list in back.
Andrea and Parker-Rees's zippy ABC's will keep kids coming back for more. Younger children will scour the pages for easier items, while more difficult objects provide that extra challenge. A rollicking read that begs for quality sharing between parents and kids, this pick-me-up is an energetic plus for any bookshelf. Matt Warner