O Is for Ossicone: A Surprising Animal Alphabet

Little Simon. Jun. 2023. 28p. Board $12.99. ISBN 9781665937504.
PreS-Gr 1–This isn’t a typical alphabet book. This is an expand-your-vocabulary alphabet book with flaps that feature cool animal facts. For example, “J is for Jowls,” so when lapsitters peek under the flap they’ll learn about a bulldog’s jowls and paws. Under “L is for Lashes” is information about an elephant’s lashes, tusks, and trunk. “S is for Scutes” offers information about a crocodile’s scutes, or scales, teeth, and webbed feet. Papworth’s beautiful and realistic drawings are the perfect complement to the text. Close-ups of one part of the animal appear on the flap before they are opened: “N is for Nostril” when it’s a star-nosed mole, while under it is a detailed illustration of the entire animal with text boxes, bold type, and arrows. Eliot continuously pelts caregivers and toddlers with fun and interesting facts (cows can see nearly 360 degrees around but not the color red; walrus tusks are just super long canine teeth; turkeys don’t sweat).
VERDICT This book has it all—alphabet, flaps, and animals. It will not stand up to wide circulation but will be a popular choice for board book story hours.

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