Books On Books Collection – Anushka Ravishankar & Christiane Pieper

Alphabets are Amazing Animals (2003)

Alphabets are Amazing Animals (2003)
Anushka Ravishankar (text) & Christiane Pieper (illustrations)
Casebound, paper on board. 220 x 220 mm. 56 pages unnumbered. Acquired from Sauliusst, 9 July 2021.
Photos: Books On Books Collection. With permission of the publisher: Photographs of the book titled Alphabets Are Amazing Animals by Anushka Ravishankar and Christiane Pieper. Copyright © Tara Books Pvt Ltd, Chennai, India. tarabooks.com

Alliterative alphabet books and animal alphabet books both have long and geographically wide traditions. In 1820, the London publisher J. Harris and Son at the corner of St. Paul’s Church-Yard published Peter Piper’s practical principles of plain and perfect pronunciation : to which is added, a collection of moral and entertaining conundrums. In 1840, the Turin publisher Alessandro Fontana published Piccolo alfabeto di storia naturale pei fanciulli.

And likewise — together — alliterative animal alphabet books (and even a few alliterative animal artists’ books) crowd the field, for example, Graeme Base’s Animalia (1986), Kay Vincent’s Animal Alphabet (2015) and Michael Kuch’s An Alliterative Abecedarium of Anthropomorphic Animals (2011).

Making a lasting contribution to those traditions must be as difficult for children’s book artists and authors as blowing big blue bubbles is for baby buffaloes.

Further Reading

Abecedaries I (in progress)“. Books On Books Collection.

Webb, Poul. 2017-“Alphabet Books — Parts 1-8” on Art & Artists. Google has designated this site “A Blog of Note”, well deserved for its historical breadth in examples, clarity of images and insight.

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