I had the opportunity to read my newest picture book, ALPHABET ZOO, at our local public library at the request of the children’s librarian, Jean Patrick, who is a wonderful children’s author.
All the children present, as well as their parents, were very engaged and enjoyed learning about the animals in ANIMAL ZOO and seeing C.E. Dale’s colorful and fun illustrations. It is always so rewarding to speak and read to children and see the excitement on their faces as they listen and ask questions. While there wasn’t enough time to present the animal trivia quiz in the backmatter section of the book as I was one of three authors reading that morning, we did discuss a few of the most fun tidbits which kids and adults alike seemed to enjoy.
It was a great time and given it was just before Christmas, I sold several copies of ALPHABET ZOO as well as my previous books which was terrific. School and library visits are a wonderful place to interact with children and share my love of books and reading, and this visit was no exception.
Thank you, Ms. Jean, and the Mitchell Public Library! I am grateful for the opportunity as well as your kind words…per Ms. Patrick, “Larson was a joy to have at the library. Kids loved interacting with her about their favorite animals. I only wish we could have had more time to hear her talk about the fascinating animal trivia from the end of the book!”
In addition, below is a book review of ALPHABET ZOO, written by Jean Patrick for our local newspaper, the Mitchell Republic.
Young Living Book Review
May 6, 2023
By Jean Patrick
Republic Book Columnist
When it comes to kids, you can’t go wrong with a book about animals.
In “Alphabet Zoo,” by local author Karin Larson, readers are treated to concise, rhyming descriptions of zoo animals from A to Z.
At first, the alliterative couplets describe familiar animals.
For example, “C is for the cranky camel, who boasts a hump full of fat. D is for the dabbling duck, whose bill is broad and flat.”
But halfway through the book, Larson begins to introduce kids to unfamiliar animals.
For example, N is for the spike-billed nutcracker, U is for the wild urial, and X is for the x-ray tetra.
The stylized illustrations of C.E. Dale are simple and uncluttered, making them especially appealing to preschoolers and toddlers.
In each illustration, Dale emphasizes the eyes, giving young viewers the feeling that the critters are looking back at them.
However, the exception is the yak, whose shaggy bangs reach down to its nostrils.
Meanwhile, “Alphabet Zoo” has a component that may appeal to older readers.
Following the main part of the book, Larson includes a section of Animal Trivia where she poses 26 questions with only an alphabet letter to serve as the clue.
For example, for the letter "D", Larson asks: “What sleeps with one side of the brain at a time and one eye open to watch for predators?”
To find the answers, readers must flip to the end of the book. (The answer is a dolphin.)
“Alphabet Zoo” is a multi-layered book that joyfully boosts vocabulary, emphasizes rhyme, and reinforces the alphabet.
Larson, a speech/language pathologist from Mitchell, is also the author of “Bedtime Kisses” and “Little Bug.”
“Alphabet Zoo.” By Karin Larson. Illustrated by C.E. Dale. 4RV Publishing, 2022. 80 pp.