Creature Teacher

by kate on January 11, 2021

Post image for Creature Teacher

I’m way in to my ABCs right now. Yes, I’m 40. And, no, neither of my girls are studying them in school. Not yet anyway. My younger daughter is just feeling words in her mouth; she is a far cry from spelling. My older daughter is kinda clueing in to these cool shapes called letters, but that’s about as far as we’ve gotten.

But that doesn’t stop me from really digging my ABCs. In fact, during bath time yesterday, I found myself singing ‘Old McDonald’ and populating his farm with consonants and vowels, with a “guh, guh” here and a “mmm, mmmm” there. Here a “puh.” There a “kuh.” You get the idea.

Flash to this incredible book by Andrew Zuckerman, Creature. Oh, the joys!

Take the alphabet in one hand. Then in the other, hold amazing photographs of wild animals. Yes. Wild animals like alligators, lions, hippos… Now, put your hands together and you’re holding this ABC book that features creatures to illustrate the alphabet.

It’s probably the portraits that get me. Just look at the eyebrows on this bear. How can you NOT remember that bear starts with B when you see that face. Ooooh. That. Face.

I especially love the all white background. The simplicity! It reminds me of Richard Avedon’s The Americans - do you know his portraits? One of my all time photo-heros. And to see Andrew Zuckerman do equally masterful work with animals. He uses 2 images of each animal - one to introduce the letter and one to use it in a word. Take a look at Mm.

If you’re into letters right now with your little ones, do check it out. Creature is not a new book; it was published in 2009, but it’s new to me. And it’s timeless.

One last look at the alligator…

And, I’ve just got to say that since there is no lesson plan attached to learning these, it’s been super fun to just play with them, to introduce the entire concept of spelling words in an easy, fun, relaxed way. Enjoy, friends!


photo credit: Modern Home Modern Baby

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruby T. January 11, 2021 at 11:22 am

That animal photography is compelling! Awesome. Is the book a hard board book for little hands?

Nick January 12, 2021 at 5:14 pm

This is a clever concept; no nonsense pictures placed with the letters themselves. Every time I come upon something like this I am always left to ask; ‘Why didn’t they have this when I was a kid?’

Adventures In Babywearing January 15, 2021 at 9:20 am

Oh how fun!!


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