Learning the rudiments of the alphabet is a visual delight with the striking images of this gorgeous ABC book by graphic designer Kay Vincent.

Plenty of wit and imagination, not to mention wonderful illustrations, single out this playful ABC book as worthy of its place on any stylish bookshelf. As well as teaching the all-important skills of recognising the letters of the alphabet, there’s plenty of detail to spot in the pictures and spark conversation.

A dazzling dance through the alphabet with a glittering cast of animals from an acrobatic ant to a zigzag zebra. Expect a few surprises as well
with a unicyling unicorn and
an octopus in outer space

With a double page spread dedicated to each, letters are displayed in both their Capital and lower case formats, with an animal and a descriptive adjective beginning with the corresponding letter. For example, the Hippy Hamster wear Woodstock style flowers in his hair and is strumming a guitar, while the Weight Lifting Walrus is doing a vigorous workout.

Although the words are minimal, each picture manages to conjure up the animal’s personality and a possible back story that will prompt imaginative tales. What is the Miming Monkey trying to tell us? Where is that Travelling Turtle skating off to? And will the Valentine Vulture find true love?

The final test of any ABC is of course how to deal with the tricky X factor. We think a Xylophonist X-Ray fish does it nicely.

It might occur to you that each page of this delightful book would make a lovely print in itself. Well, clever you! Kay Vincent’s alphabet designs are available as individual prints from her design company Ketchup on Everything.

There’s also an added bonus when you buy this book. The removeable dust jacket features a frieze of the entire A to Z to hang on your child’s wall. What’s more, the book cover beneath is in a lovely bright orange with bold black print and a lovely touchy-feely linen-effect so will still look perfectly in place on your bookshelf.

A fresh modern (and retro!) twist on the well-trodden path of ABC books.
We give Animal Alphabet an A*!

Fun fact Author Kay Vincent cites fashion guru Paul Smith and picturebook artist Richard Scarry as design heroes. But how are the two connected? The British fashion designer added his unique aesthetics to a special edition entitled Paul Smith for Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.

Did you know? Zebras have become something of the stock-in-trade for ABC books. But they are not the only animals that begin with a Z (though they are certainly among the most attractive). Other animals include the zebu, a humped cattle and zorilla, a striped polecat. Two animals that also have distinctive black-and-white stripes are the Zebra Finch and the Zebra Fish.

** Want to know more about the antics of these amazing alphabet animals? ** Read our Creator Q&A with Kay Vincent here.

Author notes Kay Vincent studied my MA in Printed Textiles at The Royal College of Art, London and spends her time working as a freelance print designer, screen printing, and junk shop rummaging. HER main rule is that HER work has to make people smile so she can pass on the fun she had designing them for her company Ketchup on Everything.
Her project ‘Animal Alphabet’ includes hand screen-printed limited editions of each letter. Her inspiration comes from her collection of children’s story books and vintage picture flash cards for the 50s and 60s.