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Literature / Animal Antics A to Z

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Jeremy Jackrabbit's Jumping Journey

Animal Antics A to Z is a series of picture books featuring anthropomorphic animal characters. 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet, all are written by Barbara deRubertis and illustrated by R.W. Alley. Each story features a different animal that attends Alpha Betty's kindergarten class. Each has an alliterative title and a cute story about an animal, each special in its own way. At the end of each books are real-life facts about the featured animal, along with a picture of the actual animal.

The Animal Antics A to Z titles include examples of:

  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: One of the conceits of the series is that the name of every character in Alpha Betty's class, all 26 of them, starts with a different letter. However, in each adventure, the particular character generally spends time with other characters not in the class whose name starts with the same letter. For example, in Gertie Gorilla's Glorious Gift, she attends a birthday party for Godfrey Goat and gets help from Gary Gazelle.
  • Alliterative Name: All the anthropomorphic animal characters have alliterative names, like Alexander Anteater, Gertie Gorilla, Godfrey Goat, Gary Gazelle, Hanna Hippo, Quentin Quokka, Zachary Zebra, etc.
  • Alliterative Title: From Alexander Anteater's Amazing Act to Zachary Zebra's Zippity Zooming
  • Ass in a Lion Skin: Lana Llama's Little Lamb is about one of these, who keeps trying to get into the pen where Lana Llama's friend Lucky Lamb plays by dressing himself up as a lamb and offering to read a book or share pie with her. Each time, though Lana stops him from letting the wolf in. Finally, Lana solves the problem by talking about it with her teacher, Alpha Betty. Fortunately, Alpha Betty happens to be a lion, and she gives him a nice long talk about how to be a friendly neighbor, causing him to have a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Constantly Curious: This is the defining trait of Quentin Quokka in Quentin Quokka's Quick Questions.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: In some scenes in Hanna Hippo's Horrible Hiccups, Hanna is depicted as having disembodied eyebrows. Other characters have these as well.
  • Expressive Ears: Jeremy Jackrabbit has them, possibly other characters too.
  • Funny Animals: Although the books include info about the real animal at the end, they are more about teaching vocabulary and phonemic awareness. The characters attend school and while they have certain traits unique to their particular animal (i.e. a jumpy jackrabbit), their behaviors and concerns are otherwise human. It's also a World of Funny Animals.