By Robert Pizzo
Pomegranate, $17.95, 32 pages
Do you consider yourself a pro at tackling tongue twisters? Do silly sentences make you smile? Does wonderful wordplay make your day? If you are nodding yes in response to these questions, get ready for The Amazing Animal Alphabet of Twenty-Six Tongue Twisters! You’ll need a professional tool set to get your tongue untied after trying out author (and illustrator) Robert Pizzo’s unique tongue twisters staring a cast of unforgettable animal actors!
Each tongue twister, one for every letter of the alphabet, features crazy critters cavorting around in a colorful scene. The ABCs have never been so captivating! Have your dictionary handy – even the best word wizards will likely come across some new vocabulary. You’ll also be able to use context clues found in the illustrations to help figure out definitions. Take the letter A as an example: The Abstract Alligator Always Aims Atrociously Askew. In the accompanying drawing, Pizzo shows the gator unsuccessfully flinging paint at a blank canvas using a slingshot. Even if you didn’t have a dictionary nearby to look up unfamiliar words, the details Pizzo includes in his illustrations make it possible to figure out the tongue twister’s meaning.
After reading The Amazing Animal Alphabet to students, teachers can have their classes come up with their own tongue twisters and illustrations. Plus, what kid wouldn’t want to see their teacher stumbling over a bunch of sticky syllables? What fun! Whether you are meeting the Outlandish Octopus who Orchestrates an Oboe Orchestra of One, the Crabby Crab Cabbie who Cruises in a Cool Classic Checker Cab or the Fantastically Fearless Frog who Flaunts a Funny Fake-Fur Fez, you are bound to enjoy this book many times in your tongue-twisted future.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin