Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Learning the alphabet is the first step to reading and Kim Marie’s A to Z Animal Picnic makes a great aid that will be equally welcomed by parents, playschool leaders, and kindergarten teachers. Each letter is printed in a different colored font from the rest. Any child watching an adult’s finger moving over the words as he or she reads aloud will notice the shape and learn from repetition, and the same applies to youngsters reading independently: “difficult” words like rhinoceros will become familiar. Capitals are used where appropriate – almost entirely for names, but there are notices in upper case. At the back of the book, there are word and counting-related games.
A to Z Animal Picnic grabbed my attention from the first page. Picture books have huge appeal for pre-kindergarten youngsters, but this one will intrigue older children too; more detail emerges with every look at the illustrations. Kim Marie has made special provisions for them with games like tongue twisters. You try saying “Quinn Quail quickly quit quilting.” Most importantly, there is a captivating story, where Annie Ant overhears Alexander Alligator planning a picnic, through Gerald Giraffe and Lyle Lion packing their share of the food, to the day when Zachary Zebra zooms in. I resisted the urge to scratch when I read page one; picnics and ants do go together. This is a winner that merits a place on every child’s bookshelf.