These two picture books are unlike others of their genre. While most alphabet books contain lists of words that begin with the letter in question, A Isn’t for Fox takes kids on a rhyming romp through the animal kingdom, pointing out that the letter Q “isn’t for towns; it isn’t for frowns. Q is for queen bees with lopsided crowns.” The only beef some parents might have with the book is that it lists “P is for ’possoms”, which isn’t technically true, since the formal name is “opossum” — but since these animals are commonly called possums, and since we have so many in Austin, this is easily overlooked. Zero, Zilch, Nada teaches simple multiplication in an innovative way: following a little bunny as he tries to count the balloons he’s blown up. A couple of read-throughs and even preschoolers will grasp that 10 x 10 = 100. Both books feature absolutely gorgeous illustrations by Laura Knorr, which are saturated with color and emotion. Highly recommended for preschoolers, who will enjoy the stories and learn at the same time.
Kim Pleticha is the editor of Parent:Wise magazine.