Score: 94+/100 (9.4+ out of 10)
Hide and Seek Alphabet: With Australian Animals is a phenomenal children's book by author Anna Finch.
Finch is a previous Outstanding Creator Awards winner and the author of one of the top 25 novels of 2022, Voiceless. With that said, our expectations were quite high, and Finch definitely delivered.
This book features beautiful hand-drawn, hand-painted illustration as well as a really fun and engaging hide-and-seek gimmick for children. It also features some of the incredible animals of Australia (one of our favorite countries by far) and, thus, serves both an educational and an entertainment function.
The animals in this book are all well-illustrated, colorful, unique, and eye-catching. The backgrounds also serve a special function in that they partly work to disguise the animals like an edition of Where's Waldo? Readers are expected to find and point out the animal and/or their associates (sometimes their friends and family). It's never really that difficult. At times, it's pretty obvious where animals are, and that's ok. With a children's book of this length, you don't want to linger on one page too long. If you do, you'll never finish in time for supper or bed! Kids will love pointing out where the animals are and the different things they notice and see on each page. Anna Finch definitely understands children's lit.
Of the animals, the grand majority of them seem to be birds. Are you surprised? With a name like Finch...
However, in all honesty, it was a relief and extra fun to see different animals from time to time like crocodiles, Tasmanian devils, dingos, honey possums, geckos, wombats, and weasel-like creatures called numbats. The author definitely loves her birds, though, and the birds might serve as a great example for kids (and adults alike) on how to differentiate between different types of animals in terms of taxonomy.
As an aside, it was so cool to see magpies in here (all the way in Australia) as we often see them here in America as well.
Another fun gimmick about this book is that it features the different sounds that animals make (phonetically). Kids will really enjoy trying to make these sounds, though you may have to take liberties as an adult on pronunciations on things like “chet, chet” and “warble, warble.”
As mentioned before, this is quite long for a children's book at nearly 60 pages. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing. You're getting A LOT of good content. A lot of time and effort clearly went into every single one of these pages, and we appreciate it.
You should definitely give this book a chance if you have kids or students who love animals!
Check it out on Amazon!