Abecedario de los animales

Abecedario de los animales
Abecedario de los animales



This book offers two poems in Spanish for each letter of the alphabet. One poem centers on the featured animal, while the other focuses on the letter itself, playfully exploring associated sounds and shapes and meaningful words. Teachers and children have delighted in this book which has become one of Alma Flor’s classics, with numerous reprints both in hardcover and paperback. Viví Escrivá’s whimsical illustrations contribute to make this book a favorite welcoming present for a new born child, a special birthday present or simply a book that belongs in the library of every child who speaks, or is learning to speak, Spanish.


The Abecedario CD or cassette is a wonderful complement to the book, facilitating children’s retention of the poems. Drawing on her broad knowledge of the Hispanic musical tradition, Suni Paz has turned each of the alphabet poems into a delightful song. The songs encompass a wide range of Latin American and Spanish rhythms, and provide an outstanding introduction to Latino children’s vast musical heritage. The tape also includes an original ABC song, a gift from Alma Flor and Suni to children and teachers.


The ABC has always held great appeal for me. I love that it is such a wonderful tool for organizing things. I am a lover and collector of ABC books, so it is not a surprise that I have written a few.

This particular ABC was born out of my desire to do something special for a special child, Emilio, the son of Kuki Miller and Daniel Divinski, two wonderful Argentinian friends. Emilio was visiting San Francisco for the first time, and I had been looking forward meeting this child, but fell victim to the most vicious flu. It was frustrating to be in bed and not able to meet the child and take him and his mother to see the city. To try to give him something special as a memory of his trip, I began creating poems about the letters and sharing them with him on the phone. This was the inspiration for the book.

At a different level this book is also very important to me because of the professional association with three women who have been very important in my career as an author. First, someone I hold in great esteem, Felicidad Orquín. A specialist in Children’s Literature, and a remarkable author, Felicidad was at the time the Director of the Children’s Literature Section of Espasa-Calpe in Madrid, and offered me a contract to publish this book. Since then we have become friends, but this book was out first contact. The book is the product of her vision in selecting Viví as the illustrator and establishing the parameters for the book design. The collaboration with Viví on the creation of the book has been the beginning of a long career of publishing books together. Suni Paz had already created music for some of my poems, but this was the first time we produced independently first a cassette, later a CD. Suni’s musical creations for my poems have been extraordinary joys in my life.


Publishers Weekly:

Young readers will enjoy learning the alphabet as they associate the letters with the names of animals. Large, colorful illustrations and simple, clever text make this a fun and educational tool.

School Library Journal:

A wonderful collection of verses about the letters of the alphabet, including imaginative descriptions of the letters and an introduction to their sounds. The text is enhanced by beautiful watercolor illustrations.


My great love for this book derives, of course, of the extraordinary response it has had from teachers and children. It has been wonderful to visit schools and see how children knew the poems by heart, and could recite or sing them. Once in the outstanding Author’s Fair of St. Helena’s Elementary School, in St. Helena, California, the children performed the book on stage, holding big signs with the letters and moving to a wonderful choreography. I also have versions of the book made by children. Even more exciting is the fact that many children have been inspired to write their own ABC poems after reading this book. That is the greatest of all rewards!

If you have enjoyed reading or sharing this book, I would very much like to hear from you. Please click here to send your comments.