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An Alphabetical Menagerie-bookcover

By: Simon Fisher

An Alphabetical Menagerie

Pages: 32 Ratings: 5.0
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Are you baffled by the word "axolotl"? Do the words "unau" and "vicuña" mean nothing to you? If so, this book will enlighten you, and thanks to the illustrations, give you an idea of what they look like. It may also alert you, if you need alerting, to the threat to the existence of many species brought about by human activity.

The author wrote the verses originally to humour himself in the midst of the Covid pandemic, when he was obliged to self-isolate. Subsequently, he thought they might entertain his sister's grandchildren, or indeed anyone else's, especially if they (the verses, that is) were accompanied by illustrations. It is the author's hope, however, that the book will appeal to young and old alike. If the verses don't make you laugh or at least smile, the illustrations by Dave F. Smith should.

Oh, and by the way, just in case you don't know your alphabet, this book will provide you with ample opportunities to learn it.

Born in Northern Ireland, Simon Fisher has spent most of his life in England. Until his retirement, he taught German and French in secondary schools, with a break of three years
teaching English in Germany. He wrote the verses for this book to entertain his great nephew and nieces and was fortunate enough to count among his acquaintances Dave F
Smith, who kindly provided the illustrations.
He is fluent in German and has written a published translation into English of the memoirs of Erich Feldtkeller, a First World War general, one of whose descendants he married.

Customer Reviews
2 reviews
2 reviews
  • David Vigar

    “It takes a lot of bottles / To slay an axolotl” begins Simon Fisher’s Alphabetical Menagerie, setting out on its mission to portray exotic and often endangered animals in poems, pictures and prose - one for every letter. Each page has a six-line poem about the creature in question plus a colourful illustration by Dave Smith. A bonus comes at the foot of each page with a bit of factual prose that provides some fast facts and colourful stories about the animals. Therefore, we learn that the axolotl is a salamander originally found in Mexican lakes. Turn the page and you find there are 16,000 kinds of bees. Later you learn what an unau is and how many hearts an octopus has. The book works for young children as a way to learn the alphabet and for older ones as a means to pick up some science and geography. This was a pandemic lockdown project for the author who subsequently thought the verses and information might entertain younger members of his family. Doubtless, it has done so and will do the same for many other readers young and old.

  • Martyn Chalk

    Alphabetical Mengerie by Simon Fisher

    Many children`s books are age specific, but Simon Fishers Alphabetical Menagerie does more than that, it spans the family; young ones will enjoy the pictures as they are being read to; older children like our nine year old granddaughter read it with enormous interest and enjoyment and the little details slipped in at the end of the pages tempted one grandfather to Google to find out more.
    The text is beautifully written and the choice of animals includes some that are less familiar. The illustrations are lively and colourful.
    This Is a first book by the author. We hope for more.

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