The Wildlife ABC and 123: A Nature Alphabet and Counting Book


64 pages
ISBN 1-897066-09-0
DDC j590





Reviewed by Linda Ludke

Linda Ludke is a children’s librarian at the London Public Library.


Originally published in 1988 and 1989, these separate titles are brought
together in one superb collection. “The Wildlife ABC” presents
upper- and lower-case letters along with clever rhyming verse: “G is
for goose paddling under a bridge / H is for Housefly inspecting your
fridge.” Jan Thornhill’s intricate illustrations afford a close-up
glimpse of creatures big and small. Each scene offers a unique
perspective, such as the cross-section of a rabbit’s underground
burrow or the inside cells of a beehive. The final picture provides a
recap and an opportunity for interactive play: “Z is for Zoo. Can you
tell who’s who?”

In “The Wildlife 123,” numerals appear above simply stated text:
“One Panda,” “Two Giraffes.” The vivid illustrations of animals
in their natural habitats reinforce counting skills. Children can also
find the appropriate number of creatures in the patterned borders that
frame each picture. Numbers 1 through 20 are represented, as well as 25
butterflies, 50 flamingos, 100 penguins, and 1000 tadpoles. A concluding
number-and-animal pyramid provides a visually stunning display.

“Nature Notes” at the end of the book offer background information
on all the animals. Highly recommended.


Thornhill, Jan., “The Wildlife ABC and 123: A Nature Alphabet and Counting Book,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,