A Book Review of
Review by Kathy Coogan
An Alphabet Trip to
the Limerick Zoo
Jeannette Ramirez has created a classic in her new children’s ebook, An Alphabet Trip to the Limerick Zoo, stylishly illustrated by students at the AIC College of Design in Cincinnati, Ohio. The ebook can be downloaded by clicking here.
First the drawings, an obvious essential for books for child readers, but no childish effort this. In fact, so luscious are its pages that adults might be compelled to disassemble it for framing.
Similar in style – dramatic, deeply colorful, close-up – the individual pictures assert themselves as portraits of the animals they depict. The essence of the animal is captured, revealing which are scary, which are clever, which are sweet.
But surprises happen here, too, allowing the lucky reader to gain a new, different perspective of each animal or to learn about an unfamiliar one. A silly Snake. A poison-skinned Newt. A horse-like Quagga, gone for good.
The poetry fulfills the obligation to entertain and educate. Ms. Ramirez, a poet in head and heart, will entrance the kids with her smooth limerick style. Her book begins with an unusual A, “An Aardvard is coming, oh joy!” and off we go to her fantastical world of fluffy pink lambs, curled up cats and an Otter who “enjoys his life more than he ought-er.”
For the adults, Ms. Ramirez and her illustrators sneak in literary allusions, geographic particulars and vocabulary-enhancing definitions in both the art and the verse. What fun to have a witch-hat clad Newt turn the tables on Macbeth’s witches. Who knew that it is a “baleen” which strains snacks for the Whale? What other children’s author reminds us, in verse no less, that the Jackal plays a role in ancient Egyptian theology?
The ABCs have never been such a treat. The “R” is ready to be memorized with the help of catchy lines like “This omnivore eats, it’s a fact, any old thing for a snack. The nocturnal Raccoon can outsmart a baboon….”
Place it on the table and watch your child be drawn to its cover, vivid with color and movement. Then be prepared to have it draw you in, too, because the rest of that limerick goes, “Cause he’s smart as a Rhesus Macaque.” Who knew?
Click here to Purchase An Alphabet Trip to the Limerick Zoo
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