Q is for Duck by Mary Elting, Michael Folsom and Jack Kent

For kids who have mastered the alphabet and know some basic facts about the common animals, the usual alphabet and animal books can be a tad too simple and boring. For them, Q Is for Duck will be a wonderful book that aims to get them to think out of the box and make connections between words.

The title of the book already hints that this is no ordinary alphabet book since “duck” doesn’t begin with D — but hey, “quack” does! Thus we can see the basic idea behind the book, which uses an unexpected animal for each letter to get kids to think beyond the obvious and rack their brains for other words related to the animal and which begin with the letter in question.

Except for a few obscure ones, most of the examples should not be a problem for kids who “get” the whole concept after the first few letters. It can also be a fun challenge for kids to come up with their own letter/unexpected-word pairings, coupled with their own explanation, e.g. “B is for sheep because a sheep says baa!” What I didn’t like, however, were the examples used for the letters A and Z (“A is for zoo”/”Z is for animals”), which basically tells kids that “animals live in the zoo” — kinda sad and misleading!

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