Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Box Thursday + Giveaway: An Alphabet Zoo

As some of you may know, phonics plays an extremely important part in our family, as we try and develop the literacy in EV and AA. There are a couple of phonics books that we use, and today, I’d like to share one that’s been a part of our literacy journey.

Julia Alphabet
Photo: Julia Gabriel Education
It’s An Alphabet Zoo, Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear, written by Julia Gabriel (read her interview on visual literacy here). This is a book and CD set that brings us on an alphabet adventure with Rainbow Bear to meet animals with names that follow the alphabet, such as Andy Ant, Freddie Frog, Ollie Octopus and Uncle Ultrasaurus. Each character is briefly introduced with a voice over, followed by a catchy song that also infuses the phonemic sounds of the alphabets.

What worked for us was the music. The tunes have been playing in our home and on our car journeys since EV was 18 months old. And for AA, he’s basically been listening to it since he was in my tummy. One thing I would like to share: music is a wonderful way to teach. And in this case, it was a wonderful aid in teaching EV and AA phonics, and often, EV and AA will sing or hum along with the songs. Of course, they do have their favourite ones, depending on which animal they like at that moment, but generally, the songs were a hit, and continue to be. This possibly is also due to the fact that all the songs follow the tune. This builds consistency and familiarity, and makes it easy for kids to identify the songs. However, this mummy wishes that the tunes have a bit more variety, for more exposure.

The book is equally entertaining, visually, with illustrations done by Kathy Creamer, a published British children’s book author and illustrator. Each quirky animal character has its own dedicated page and illustration, which infuses many things that start with the same letter within the illustration. For example, for letter K for Kara Koala, the illustration also depicts a key, kite and kangaroo. This means that when listening to the CD, it is possible to assimilate their listening with reading, with additional activities such as asking them to point out a particular thing on the page. More than that, I also discuss what is happening in the illustrations and what they think of the illustrations with EV and AA, to help build their visual literacy, important in today’s world when we are bombarded by visuals of every kind all around us.

An Alphabet Zoo brings together reading, listening and viewing, important literacy skills that we all need to develop in our kids. We thoroughly enjoy it, and we hope that you will too.

An Alphabet Zoo, Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear retails at $29.95. And if you want to add a little more fun and drama, there is even a finger puppet set of 26 puppets that is sold separately at $116.60.

Here’s your chance to win a copy of An Alphabet Zoo, Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear. There are five copies to be given away, sponsored by Julia Gabriel Education. Just follow the intructions below to enter. Good luck!

Terms and conditions:
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- Winners will be notified by email, through the email address provided in the Rafflecopter widget.
- Winners must confirm by reply email, within three days. Otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
- Giveaway starts on 28 November and ends on 13 December (inclusive) at midnight.
- Winners will be announced on this post and my Facebook page by 17 December.

Disclaimer: This review was done with our own copy of An Alphabet Zoo, Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


Thank you for reading. If you like this post, please do connect with me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, so I can share our fun adventures, thoughts and exploits with you. 

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  1. This set Will come in useful in my phonics journey with my children!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. This will be great for teaching my 3-year-old! She loves listening to songs. I hope she will enjoy this too. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Hui Ing

  3. Great for teaching my 2-year-old! Useful tool & hope he will enjoy this good book. :)


  4. This looks very interesting. She loves the colourful animals illustrated.
    Thanks for organizing.
    Ker Min

  5. This will be perfect for my 4yo son who is learning how to read now!

  6. It will comr in handy when I teach my son about phonics.

  7. Songs are great for learning phonics for children!

    Robert Sim,

  8. It'll be very helpful fOr me to learn more about phonics! Not just my lil one =P

  9. My son is 4.5 yrs old and this song book comes in handy to teach him phonics.

    Gordon Ngiam

  10. i have the dinosaur discovery book...hope to win this to complete my collection of julia gabriel books

  11. My gal will definitely love this!

  12. I wish to get this for my boy who has just turned 3! ^_^

  13. Good & great gift for my 2yrs old boy... Thank you for the awesome Gift-away..

  14. I wish to get this for my two son turning 3 and 2 :)

  15. Only I can understand what my son is saying as his pronunciation is not clear. This book will aid us in teaching him the correct phonics and pronunciation.

  16. Tks for hosting the giveaway. Songs is a great way to teach phonics!

    M Lim

  17. Carol

    Great gift for my two year old going on three soon!

  18. Julia Gabriel's phonics resources are popular and effective. Hope to win this set for my boys.


  19. To be frank, I've not learnt any phonics when I was a kid. This book that comes along with the CD would certainly be a great start and help!


  20. Useful for me to teach my child phonics through songs!

  21. Great teaching tool and has colourful illustrations! Hope I can win this for my kids.



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