'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 16 September 2010

Review: Bugs and Beasts

What better excuse to use the extensive and utterly beautiful collection of artworks and photographs at the National Library of Australia than in ABC 123 books? Using luminscent colour, a fabulous collection of artwork and really superb layout and design, these two beautiful books are works of art in themselves.

Bugs and Beasts ABC features an alphabet line-up of creatures and critters from all over the world. Author Gold has added to this some rhyming text that gives a well-paced rhythm to reading - something adults enormously appreciate.

Along the outside page edge of each double page spread, we are also given little Did You Know snippets that turn this regular ABC book into an information portal for wee ones. Did you know, for example, that a jaguar goes 'fishing' by waving its tail over the water to attract fish?

At the back of the book is fascinating information for adults on the origins of the artwork used in the book, including full copies of the paintings.

In Bugs and Beasts 123, kids are taken through an assortment of creatures, counting 1 through 10 and coupled with Gold's rhyming text and Did You Know?s. Towards the end of the book, the critters are lined up in their numbered lots and the book finishes with references to the original artwork once again.

Visually, these books are splendid and will easily engage young readers while giving them a good old fashioned dose of glorious and heart-pounding art history ... oh dear, what a shame (!).

Title: Bugs and Beasts ABC / Bugs and Beasts 123
Author: Irma Gold
Publisher: National Library of Australia, $14.95RRP
Publication Date: 19 October 2006
Format: Soft cover
ISBN: 9780642276452 / 9780642276339
For ages: 0 - 5
Type: Picture book

These books are available online - ABC / 123