ABC Adventures Cont’d, X Y Z
by Anita Everett

"Zany, like all his kind, was beautifully striped in black and white. He was not yet aware of this, but the striping was different on each animal."

Exploring the last three letters in the alphabet, this book includes three different stories. For X, several words are presented with brief descriptions as the letter is personified and notes its many uses, such as for xenon, x-ray, and Xerox. The remaining two letters have longer stories dedicated to animals—Yakkidy Yak and Zany Zebra. Each story is long, making them better for early chapter book readers and features a few illustrations throughout.

Yakkidy Yak tells the story of how she was captured from the wild, brought to work on a farm, and then returned to the wild when she was unable to perform the work required. The whole time, Yakkidy Yak continues talking, earning her name. Zany Zebra suffers from allergies and often finds himself in trouble. He is somewhat unintentionally brave and forges the way through a river that all the other zebras are afraid to cross since it has crocodiles. Later, he finds himself in the grip of a python, but luckily his herd comes to help, and Zany is saved. While it may seem like bad luck at first, the outcomes are very lucky for Zany Zebra!

The images throughout the book compliment the stories well and have a lovely watercolor quality. The stories themselves are relatively simple and feature the fun animal names that will appeal to a relatively young audience. The text is large, making it easy for young chapter book readers to enjoy. Overall, these simple stories provide a more detailed and fun alphabet book than the usual “Z is for Zebra” offering.

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