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Children's LiteratureThe authors and illustrator bring plenty of knowledge and experience to this alphabet book. Roland Smith spent more than twenty years caring for exotic animals and Henry Cole was an elementary and middle-school science teacher. The book can be read on two levels. There is a short rhyming text that accompanies each letter of the alphabet. It is not great poetry, but it is often humorous. Two-thirds of most pages are filled with illustrations and the rhyme. The other third shows the letter of the alphabet in upper and lower case and is followed by several paragraphs of factual information related to the topic and scene. That text is aimed at an older reader. The book can be used to learn the alphabet, to learn about various jobs needed to keep a zoo running and the animals healthy, and to learn about the animals themselves. As always, illustrator Cole injects his own sense of humor. Among the most amusing pictures are one demonstrating the attempt to transport giraffes through a tunnel and another showing zookeepers transporting an anaconda. A good choice for classroom, library or home. 2005, Sleeping Bear/Thompson Gale, Ages 5 to 10.