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*Zoopa: An Animal Alphabet* by Gianna Marino
Also by Gianna Marino:

Night Animals
Zoopa: An Animal Alphabet
by Gianna Marino
ages 4-8 36 pages Chronicle Books September 2005 Hardcover    

This is a fabulous book for youngsters, a visual treat that features a bowl of alphabet soup unlike any you have ever imagined. Beginning with an ant on the front endpapers, all the way to the zany zebra on the final page, this enthusiastic and creative assortment of animals is a delightful mix of fancy and imagination. This visual feast is filling and heartwarming, a mad menagerie guaranteed to delight and engage young readers.

Each page features a double spread with a blue gingham tablecloth and yellow placemat trimmed in red, on which is centered a rich, red bowl of soup, the highlighted letters introducing a sprinkling of creatures; for example, E and F, a frog near the bowl, which suddenly sports a rim trimmed with tiny blue elephants; I and J add an iguana and jellyfish, as page after page fills up with an amazing display of beasties. By the time the reader gets to W, X and Y, the pages are bursting with quirky species, a jungle of joys. For a book that starts out so quietly, the ending is positively raucous.

Marino has illustrated a delightful alphabet of creatures, her images brimming with energy and humor. Zoopa is so beautifully rendered, I would highly recommend it for any lucky child, not to mention adults who collect innovative illustrations. There's nothing like a nice big bowl of Zoopa on a lazy afternoon. This is one recipe you'll be glad to share.

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  Luan Gaines/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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