Book Reviews for Alligator, Bear, Crab: A Baby’s ABC
Lesley Wynne Pechter’s board book Alligator Bear Crab (Orca, 28 pages, $9.95, infant to 18 months) has a calm summery look, and hints at some of the splashing creatures of B.C. in its alphabetical catalogue of creatures.
Orca, seal, crab, bald eagle and sea urchin join less local animals in an alphabet book that ranges from iguana to Canada goose, from koala to loon, from “you” to zebra.
Pale yellows, cool greens and blues are refreshing to the eye, but what’s nicest about Alligator Bear Crab is Pechter’s close observation of the markings and patterns on her birds, beasts and marine life. The loon with its black and white markings, the jay with its quizzical look and the seal with its appearance of somnolent pleasure — all help make this a work of character as well as zoology. It’s a pleasure to see a baby book that features so many species native to Canada.
“Endearing animals introduce the ABCs in an inviting board book. Pechter’s organic paintings feature soft lines, kindly faces, and a soothing palette of creamy sunset colors and sky blues…With care paid to each image, this is a charming, distinctive primer.”
“Occasionally, a unique [board] book will demand attention, and such is the case with Lesley Wynne Pechter’s Alligator, Bear, Crab…The simplicity and elegance of the Japanese woodcut is exemplified in this board book. Animal faces and expressions are emphasized, and all faces are friendly, but not necessarily imbued with a conventional smile. Colour, too, is unconventional, and this book is a refreshing change from the standard board book…With main colours of muted green, orange, and aquamarine that are pleasing to the eye, one can see how this book could be soothing to a young child…Suitable for infants, who enjoy looking at pictures and hearing a familiar voice, and all the way up to toddlers who like to repeat words and may even “read” the book themselves, prompted by the pictures and their ever-expanding memories. My two-year-old grabbed this book from my hands and would not let me take it from her until after several re-readings — this is my definition of success with a new book! Alligator, Bear, Crab is suitable for public libraries and personal home collections. Highly Recommended.”
Word of Mouse Book Reviews blog
“A fabulous new board book that is sure to be a hit with the baby shower set as well as the babies themselves…This book is swoon-worthy with its gorgeous pastel palette and Japanese woodcut-inspired illustrations. It stands out on the shelves and to wee readers. I also love the sweet expressions on the somewhat eclectic group of animals that are featured in this book. My daughter, at almost two, can now identify the eagle, koala, newt and urchin in the book and loves the old favourites like the frog, bear and goose!…Utterly original, very Canadian, adorable, educational and attractive, this book is the kind I live to blog about!”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Two pre-reader staples, the animal book and the alphabet book, make a happy mashup in this attractive board book. The animal selection veers just enough off-kilter to provide some surprises…The deer, the frog, the moose, and the turtle will probably be among the first critters whose names are babbled by the youngest viewers, while the likes of the newt, the urchin, and the vole will give older viewers animal-identification bragging rights. While this particular roundup excludes pets and other domesticated creatures, even the most predatory of the lot manages a grin, or at the very least an amiable demeanour…A soft yet trendy palette of cool blues, greens, yellows, and peaches will appeal as much to parents fixated on color-coordinated nursery accoutrements as to the toddlers themselves.”
“From the sharp-toothed alligator to the final wild zebra, an arresting animal menagerie is presented…Even the most challenging connections appear unforced; urchin and vole seem perfectly natural standing along with the prominent bear…The nursery-inspired background palette includes robin’s-egg blues, tangerine oranges and lemony yellows and peek through artful, intricate gaps in the animals’ outlines. Always recognizable, these dreamlike creatures alphabetically enchant.”
“With a large, uncluttered image of an animal representing each letter of the alphabet, this sturdy board book will have toddlers pointing at the bright pictures and sounding out the critters’ names many times over…Just right for the youngest lap audience and for preschoolers starting to learn letters.”
Canadian Children’s Book News
“Pechter uses a soothing palette of creamy pastels and bright colours to attract youngsters to her friendly looking characters…The animals all have a playful appeal to them—enticing little ones to keep turning the pages to discover what’s next…I love the warm colours and sweet critters that decorated the pages and would certainly include it in a gift for a newborn or toddler’s birthday.”