School Library Journalea. vol: illus. by Mario Gomboli. unpaged. (Poke and Look Bks.). Gros set. 1987. spiral $6.95. PreS-Gr 1 Spiral bound concept books, these two are die cut and serve as manipulative books. In Animal Alpha bet , only upper-case letters are shown. The letters are cut out, and a second die cut allows children to see which letters are still to come. The openings in Mouse's Book of Months serve little pur pose: they only allow children to poke fingers through a yellow hole. Cartoon drawings in bright, cheerful colors and rhyming verses of varying quality are used in each book. The illustrations are uncluttered and clear, but they are also generally flat and undistinguished. In Animal Alphabet the animal caricatures are so broadly drawn that some are all but unrecognizable. Several of the ani mals chosen will not be familiar to chil dren. Mouse's Books of Months does not have the originality or flair of Sen dak's Chicken Soup with Rice (Harper, 1962) or the sense of seasonal change found in Nancy Tafuri's simpler All Year Long (Greenwillow, 1983) . Its intermin gling of fantasy and reality (a ``mermaid- ducky,'' for example) may be confusing to young children. Patricia Siegfried, Public Library of Charlotte and Meck lenburg County, N.C.
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