Photo Ark ABC: An Animal Alphabet in Poetry and Pictures (Joel Sartore & Debbie Levy)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Photo Ark ABC: An Animal Alphabet in Poetry and Pictures, with photographs by Joel Sartore and poems by Debbie Levy, a playful alphabetical expedition through the animal kingdom.

Featuring original animal portrait photography from Sartore, creator of the National Geographic Photo Ark, this ambitious title combines striking high-quality photos of one (sometimes two) animal species per letter of the alphabet with an energetic kid-friendly poem dedicated to the critter in question. Young readers can learn about familiar favorites like frogs, lions, and walruses, plus a few lesser-known animals like groupers or urials.

A fun twist on animal alphabets! While perhaps not as educational as ABC books that explore animal species with factoids, Levy’s plucky poetry is wildly entertaining while still managing to include a few fun, if less-specific, facts about the animals in Sartore’s photography. Bright, illustrative typeset adds to the fun, emphasizing words like “squeezes” or “squirmy” or “Roar!” with text that reflects the word’s meaning. Sartore’s photography is striking, presenting the animals against black or white backgrounds to keep the focus on their unique and highly-detailed natural features. The poems themselves are lengthy, so younger readers may not be able to finish this one in a single sitting, but kids of all ages can enjoy the poems piecemeal and the photos independently, giving the book multi-age appeal. JJ definitely loved the photos and the few poems we read, and was excited to explore more later. Overall, a great way to explore the animal kingdom and the world of poetry at the same time, and we liked it a lot! Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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