An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo

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An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Learn your ABCs with the aid of interesting animals and some of the prettiest artwork you will see.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: October 2016
Publisher: Pavilion Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781843653134

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If you have ever tried to print a design using traditional methods such as screen printing or block printing, you will know how tricky a feat this is. Making a simple black and white design is tough enough as you try and spread the paint evenly and avoid bleeding, but multicolours are even more complex. You have to remove your screen and add another, then make sure the new colour sits exactly where it should. When it goes wrong it looks amateurish and you have to start again. Do it right and it can look as wonderful as An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo.

Most children stepping out into the world of reading will have an ABC book or two as they are literally the building blocks of the words that they are starting to learn. As an adult they are not the most interesting books to share – you always know how they are going to end. To make an ABC book special you require one that will engage both the child and the adult; this is a book that does just this.

Pattullo is an artist who uses printing in her designs so she is able to take something as simple as animals and elevate them to wonderful illustrations. The book follows the usual alphabetical format – a letter is represented by an animal. However, rather than just bringing out the usual architypes, Pattullo throws in a few curveballs; Sloths, Okapis, Nautilus(s?). Each animal is represented by a magnificent screen print. A muted palette is used that gives them a faded seaside appeal. The number of layers is very impressive with four or five layers not bleeding into one another.

The use of bold colours means that the images will appeal to a small child learning their letters, but it also gives the parent some eye candy. Pattullo even goes a step further by adding a little information on each creature so that older children can become involved and not be bored by the simple ABC. A final little treat is that the end of the book houses a little eye spy competition. A series of snapshots are available and you must look through the book to find the animals they are linked to; this is actually a rather tricky endeavour.

An Animal ABC is one of those children's books that are just a pleasure to hold and look at. The version reviewed was a hardback and getting towards A3 size. This could easily be put on a coffee table for adults to look at, never mind the kids. It should be pointed out that the use of obscure animals and facts does mean it could be a little dry for some toddlers – they may just reach for the Pepper Pig ABC instead. Hopefully, the majority will enjoy the images here as much as the adults.

There are other ABC books that try and make the oeuvre interesting Abc 3d by Marion Bataille, whilst others are more traditional, but still great Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray

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Buy An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo at


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