About the Book
Title: Animania| Author/Illustrator: Corrina Holyoke | Publication Date: April 6, 2015 | Publisher: Create Space | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4-8
Author/artist Corrina Holyoake's Animania takes young children on a smile-bursting adventure into a fantastical world of imaginary critters in this alphabet book with a twist. Six-year old Neighbor Boy, his mom, Senora Maria, and I read the book and offer our review.
This picture book flows in four-line rhymes as it names and describes outrageous creatures representing different letters of the alphabet. Holyoake conjures up crisp verse that’s easy for kids to remember and recite. Her silly-and-sweet flights of fancy delight, such as B for Boogerbat:
No need to laugh, for it is a fact
Holyoake’s inventive illustrations are extraordinary, appealing to the child in all of us. Animals sizzle in large drawings on a single page of white background. Holyoke adds details that make these imaginary creatures come alive.
For instance, the Electroshell dances (the electric slide?!) on a brightly checkered floor while two white mice, one in cool sunglasses, dance along side the 10-footed creature with the sparkling jewel-toned shell. In fact, the two white mice are design images carried throughout the piece. They mimic the main characters’ antics in wild, inventive ways and add to the fun. Colorful upper-and lower-case letters are also integrated into each illustration in imaginative ways. Each page is a visual delight to explore and enjoy.
Words and illustrations follow a 32-page picture book layout in this handy kid-sized 8.5 x 11-inch book Rhymes are printed below each drawing at the bottom quarter of the page, in quirky, black, sans-serif font, with plenty of white space around words and between lines. Text that names each animal is printed in both upper- and lower-case letters; it's colored and styled to match the animal art. The book fits perfectly into small hands that are eager to turn its pages.
While you can read the book in a linear fashion from start to finish, Animania works well when children select their favorite animals or letters (like their initials) and read those parts in separate sittings.
Holyoake's art simply dazzles in its color, detail and creativity. She creates a totally believable world of beautifully drawn, fanciful creatures that appeal to young and old. Best, she entertains while helping young minds learn. Animania teaches beginning readers and offers enchanting, visual prompts to reach those who struggle with their letters. The book ends with a coloring page and asks children to imagine and draw their own Animania creature.
NEIGHBOR BOY'S REVIEW
I love the funny mice that always show up. I like the silly stuff and the way the names are made up for animals. It’s funny with a million rhymes.
I love the beautiful drawings. Boogerbat is my favorite because it is funny and yucky.
SENORA MARIA'S REVIEW
Neighbor Boy's Mom
Beautiful! I love her drawings. The book teaches letters in a way that’s fun. It’s another way to learn, and it doesn’t feel like boring schoolwork. The little details throughout the book are charming and keep the kids’ attention.
Neighbor Boy, Senora Maria, and I highly recommend Animania for preschoolers through second-graders. We laughed at its funny rhymes and were enchanted by the amazing illustrations. Parents and teachers can design all sorts of Animania extension activities to get the greatest use from this book. I can see children being inspired to draw their own alpha-critter and practice their letters.
While young readers giggle at the visual treats and silly verse, they will remember that Booger Bat represents the letter B; they will recognize what its upper- and lower-case letters look like. Can't wait to see what Holyoake does with her next book and promised Animania coloring pages.
I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A tech support specialist by day for a medical and scientific publisher; a mum of two and artist by night, UK-based artist, author Corrina Holyoake is a lover of color, silliness, and the obscure. She enjoys life to its fullest and thrives off new experiences and challenges. Having just dipped her toes into the writing world and self-publishing with Animania, she’s looking forward to seeing where this new journey takes her.
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