Animalphabet by Julia Donaldson is a very clever way of making an alphabet book. You start with a small “story” about an ant. And then find out what is bigger than an ant on the B page and so on throughout the book. There is none of that “A is for Ant or A = Ant. The End” to the style. The pages format could make it difficult for the very young to read it. You have hidden flaps that are not always obvious to the direction they open. Also, the younger crowd might be rough with the book. The pages are traditional paper and not a board book. But due to the story, the younger readers might not want to sit still for a short, but obvious, story and this might not be for them. It is for the slightly older reader or for the adult who collects alphabet books.
The colors of Sharon King-Chai’s illustrations are fabulous. Realistic and fantastical as the same time, they are simplistically detailed. This contraction adds to the charm of the entire package. You might learn about some new animals, but others are probably familiar to most children. Yet, they are all sweet and cuddly (even the snake).
Perhaps the best part is when you get the last page you have a special surprise. What is smaller than a Zebra? You have to start all over again, because remember that ant of page one?
Over all this is a strong book that is different and not your everyday kind of alphabet book.