Cats, Dogs, and Elephants, Oh My: More From Abbeville Kids

…CONDO! No, just kidding. If you didn’t guess “cage,” we congratulate you on being able to read this sentence.

Easy as this kind of guessing game may be for adults, it’s just the ticket for building reading comprehension skills in younger readers. Throughout Abbeville’s Big Cat, Small Cat, written and illustrated by Ami Rubinger (and translated from the Hebrew by Ray Baitner), the rhyme scheme sets up word predictions that encourage kids to interact with the text. Equally inviting are Rubinger’s charming illustrations; our own favorite is the picture of the “bad cat,” who looks like a cross between the Devil and the Los Alamos bomb tests.

Rubinger’s follow-up volume, I Dream of an Elephant, works in a similar fashion, teaching children about colors by encouraging them to chime in with a missing color-word at the end of each couplet. (We know what you’re thinking: what did we rhyme with “orange”? The answer is: “four-inch doorhinge.” Think we’re lying? Well, maybe so; buy the book and find out.) The third volume in the series, Dog Number 1, Dog Number 10 (English text by series editor Cynthia Vance), helps build both early reading skills and early counting skills by rhyming with the numbers between 1 and 10. (“Playing chase is so much fun! / My name’s Rover. I’m dog number…”)

As you may have guessed from the previous examples, the name of the game for Abbeville Kids books is interactivity. We’ve continued that theme in our latest picture book, Alphabet Everywhere, with photography by Elliott Kaufman. The book depicts each letter of the alphabet through multiple images, each created by the intersection of architectural details, shadows, light, or natural elements as caught by Kaufman’s eagle eye. Some letter “cameos” are obvious, while others take a little more imagination to recognize. The result is a quirky little gallery that heightens little ones’ observational skills, helping them not only to read, but to see the world around them with fresh eyes. K?


Click here to purchase Alphabet Everywhere, published by Abbeville Press.

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