Rhyming Alphabet Zoo
by Lennox Humphrey
Trafford Publishing

"Oh what a surprise I have for you if your favorite color is red not blue."

The approach in Rhyming Alphabet Zoo is as amusing as its plot—the zoo. It starts with an Ape followed by a Beaver and then a camel and ends with a Zonkey, a special breed between a zebra and a donkey. Humphrey starts with a short welcome. And like a true blue zookeeper, he presents each animal under his care with zest and zeal. Every line aimed at describing each zoo dweller is conversational, entertaining and creative. To top it off, a photo comes with each letter.

While each picture has only one animal in it, other zoo dwellers are ingeniously identified in the rhyming lines—here is where the author's intrinsic creativity sets in. Each picture that corresponds to each letter is a trademark of this book. Animals tattooed with leaves, flowers, crests, and different motifs, prints, and landscapes take readers to the inner world of creativity. The detailed drawings supplement the storyline as strikingly painted animals are postured to support the enthusiasm that besets the imagined zoo.

In choosing children for an audience and zoo animals for the topic, Humphrey gets to convey trivial information in a very simple way. Late in the book, he introduces "zonkey" without necessarily sounding like a quizmaster. His attempt to keep a children's book on children's level even with adult-level information is admirable. The book brings to the page an admixture of creativity and authority.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home