By Author / Illustrator
Lou Kuenzler (Author), Julia Woolf
Faber & Faber
Paperback / softback
Annie said to the animals, \"Please stand in a line.I'm painting my alphabet. Come one at a time! First Aardvark and Bear and Crocodile too. Not yet, Zebra. I'm not ready for you . . .\"Annie wants to paint an alphabet using her animals, but Zebra simply can't wait until the end for his time to shine. Sneakiness, silly costumes and plain pushiness doesn't get him anywhere - but he has to learn to wait his turn!
Little Annie is painting the alphabet. She has her easel and paint brushes ready to go but needs to enlist some helpers. Her instructions are clear, her helpers must line up nicely and in order. First comes Aardvark and then Bear and Crocodile but Zebra is so eager he jumps the queue. Annie patiently reminds Zebra that she isn't ready for him yet, it's Dog and Elephant's turn first. But poor Zebra wants to join in the action and cannot wait his turn. He attempts to dress up as other animals, imitate others and gets quite rough with poor octopus and fox, all in an effort to jump the alphabetic queue, but Annie refuses to allow him to join in before it is his turn. Ironically, when Annie finally reaches the end of the alphabet, she cannot find Zebra anywhere. She worries that persistently telling him to wait his turn may have offended him. However, it seems as though Zebra has exhausted himself and Annie finds him comfortably tucked up in bed. This is a wonderful alphabet rhyming picture book by Lou Kuenzler & Julia Woolf that will certainly be enjoyed by young children again and again. Each page is packed with playful activity and colour that will delight readers; Each character is bursting with personality. Lou Kuenzler's clever text is full of rhythm and rhyme and Julia Woolf's lively illustrations are awash with whimsy. This is the perfect book to familiarise children with alphabetic principle and order. Readers will enjoy anticipating and guessing which animals might appear next on Annie's list or wish to create their own alphabetical animal menagerie. Readers could also consider verbs to describe how animals might join the alphabetical queue; for example the snakes slither. For a further challenge they could use alteration to do this. Children could think about the ways Annie speaks to Zebra, are some requests politer than others? Can they think about how they might ask Zebra to wait his turn? Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, school librarian.
Suggested Reading Age 3+