Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bobbie Craig - The Animal Alphabet Book

Published in 1987 by Ladybird books, this was no ordinary animal alphabet book. Bobbie Craig's wonderfully illustrated hardcover features a diverse and unusual array of creatures who partake in activities corresponding to the first letter of their name's (ie C is for cat, camel, cow, crow, cobra and crocodile counting cards). So not only do children learn about the animals, they also become familiarized with all manner of other words and subjects.

However, it is the sheer variety of the animals included which makes this book truly unique. Altogether there are 123 creatures represented throughout, many of which are extremely obscure and exotic to the extent that some of them are rarely found in books intended for adults. This refreshingly unpatronizing approach refuses to talk down to its readers, it simply presents these fantastic animals in impossible environments for children to marvel at.
Below are the scanned images from the original book that was bought for me by my mother in the late 80s which I still have in my possession.

Just like real life.

But who's the birthday boy?




The falcon looks none too pleased to have a fly in his floss.

Nice waistcoat.

A happy bunch.

One of my favorites, a pity the impala became impaled on the central crease.

Product placement?

Kudos for the Kudu.

I fear for the Llama when the big cats wake up...

Manic expressions galore.

Undoubtedly my favorite if only for the Narwhal's expression.

It still makes more sense than Clockwork Orchestra...

The pigeon's making a mess as usual.

Interesting entry as the Quagga has been extinct for over a hundred years...

Unfair on the rattlesnake really, he doesn't even have any feet.

Snails and sunbathing don't mix.

Another classic.

It really should have been "viewing various vests."


This one bothers me. With all the obscure creatures in the book you'd have thought they would have used an animal that actually begins with X. 

The inevitable zebras.

Front and back cover, note the "IR £1.00" price sticker is still on the back, long before the days of the Euro currency.


  1. I had this book as a child, it also came with a cassette tape reading the book to you!