Written by: Karen Lee
Illustrated by Karen Lee
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication Date: 2007
Reviewed by: Pamela Victor
Review Date: May 12, 2010
Chances are, when you read ABC Safari to a child, it will not be a passive, you-read/she-listens event. Karen Lee has written a highly interactive book in which children readily will become engaged, leading to animated deducing and discussions between reader and child.
ABC Safari is no average “A is for alligator” book. In each four-line verse, Lee provides clues to which animal will be named. For instance, “This creature loves to cut down trees – long teeth can handle that with ease. She stacks the logs into a dome which then becomes the Beaver’s home.” It’s easy to imagine a child become increasingly excited as the words are read, eager to guess the animal that starts with “b” on that page.
Indeed, Lee’s colorful pictures provide visual verification in this fun guessing game. In addition, each animal is placed in its natural environment, encouraging further discussion for the keen observer about geography and animal habitats. Young readers also will delight in searching out the “Safari Boy” and his pet parrot found on each page, sometimes not so easily!
On the final page, Safari Boy and his parrot are surrounded by the whole alphabet of animals. Here, kids might enjoy being challenged to “Find the animal that starts with the ‘l’ sound,” or “What letter do you think ‘tiger’ starts with?” And the learning continues even after the story ends. Readers find a three-page spread of “animal cards.” Each card has a picture of the animal in addition to its class (i.e., mammal, reptile, bird, etc.,) diet, and an interesting fact about each creature. (Did you know that quails “marry” for life?) Readers are encouraged to copy these pages onto card stock to sort by class or diet, or they can make two copies to play “Memory.” Readers can expand the educational opportunities even further by visiting the publisher’s website at www.SylvanDellPublishing.com to find related websites and teaching activities.
Quill says: ABC Safari provides an interactive, inspiring alphabet experience for reader and child!