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An Alphabet Zoo by Julia Gabriel [Book Review + Giveaway]

December 3, 2013

Phonics plays a very crucial role in helping a child build his literacy skills. Phonics teaching is very important because it teaches a child the links between the sounds of speech and the letters, and letter groups which are code for those sounds. Systematic and incidental phonics learning help equip a child with alphabetic code knowledge and forms the basis for the technical skills needed for reading, spelling and writing.

Here at the Kao household, besides getting their phonics instruction through the lessons in their kindergarten, the older kids also learn from watching educational programmes like Word World and LeapFrog. I don’t exactly know how to deliver phonics instructions, and so I usually outsource this part to the experts.

Last month, the folks at Julia Gabriel Education very kindly sent us their very own book and CD set titled An Alphabet Zoo Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear. In true Julia Gabriel style, this book was created by her to teach children aged 3 to 4 the most common sounds of each letter in the Alphabet and to give them a start to phonemic awareness and decoding letters into sounds with lots of songs and story telling.

An Alphabet Zoo Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear

An Alphabet Zoo Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear

The CD is voiced by actors and teachers representing characters in the book who use Standard English, and is a good resource to play even on its own, like in the car. It has catchy tunes and familiar refrains with carefully distinguished sounds pronounced clearly and proficiently.

The book can be read with the CD or without the CD, and Julia Gabriel herself provides a guide at the beginning of the book to help parents use the book and CD set with suggested activities and prompts. Each page in the book is like a huge hide-and-seek activity, with captivating  illustrations by Kathy Creamer of animals and things related to each letter in the Alphabet.

JGE_ Alphabet Zoo F

Captivating illustrations of things starting with the letter F

The older kids love the book, especially for the fascinating pictures which allow them to find and identify. They talk about each page with me and between themselves when we read it together, which also allows them to develop their language proficiency.

JGE_Reading the Alphabet Zoo

Lots of things to look for for each letter!

JGE_Reading the Alphabet Zoo together

Check out the letter S with Santa and a woman in sari!

An Alphabet Zoo Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear is a great book that takes the little ones on a lively journey through the Alphabet Zoo and making the letters of the Alphabet come alive for young minds that are ready to get acquainted with phonics.

*And we’re hosting a GIVEAWAY on the blog!*

Julia Gabriel Education is giving away THREE sets of An Alphabet Zoo Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear book + CD set to three of Motherkao’s readers, so you and your child can journey through the Alphabet Zoo too!

To stand a chance for the randomised draw, simply leave me a comment here telling me who you’d like to win it for, with your name and email address. Giveaway closes on 16 December 2013. It’ll be a neat Christmas gift for your little one, that’s for sure!


Alphabet zoo winners

Thank you everyone, for participating! Congrats to the winners! You’ll hear from the folks at JGE soon!

Disclosure: We received the book and CD set from Julia Gabriel Education for the purpose of this review. Motherkao received no monetary compensation for reviewing this and all opinions here are my own. 

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  • Reply Serena December 17, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    I’m one day late..hope will be still in time for the giveaway.=X
    Last week I sign up my gal for the JG Rainbow Bear Holiday Program, and she love it to bits!! Till now she’s still always talking about Rainbow Bear! So I hope I can help her win this little set for her to relive and safekeep her Rainbow Bear memories..thanks!

  • Reply M Lim December 16, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Hi, I would like to win for my two older boys who are preschoolers next year. Thanks.


  • Reply Debra December 12, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Oh hi, so you are Motherkao! I met you at Little Harvard Christmas Crackers programme last week 🙂

    Would like to try to win this for my 4yo son Sean who is learning how to read now!

  • Reply Linz December 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Sounds like a great gift a parent can give to their child. Hope Little Joy will pick up the sounds being read first before identifying the pictures and words. It’s never too early to start reading ya?

  • Reply Kathryn Ng December 10, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    I’ll like to win it for my 2yr old girl who is just starting to enjoy her storybooks 🙂 thanks!

  • Reply Jaime Chan December 9, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    i hope to win it for my coming to 3 yr old daugher Charmaine..she is recognising her letter now..hope she can learn her phonics too…somehow she didnt like Ted in leapfrog as much as her older brother who adores Ted.

  • Reply Yee Cheng December 9, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Kate would love to read and sing along with the Rainbow Bear. Hope she’s one of the lucky 3. 🙂

  • Reply Jerene Sim December 8, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    I really would love to win it for my 17 month old daughter who has been very interested in the letter sounds especially the ‘b’ sound and goes around saying it to me. It’s definitely heart warming and encouraging to know she is interested in phonics and reading!
    Would love to read it for her!


  • Reply Irene December 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    I would love to win this for my boy… Unfortunately, he’s still not into reading 🙁
    Thus, I hope the colourful illustrations & fun activities can captivate his attention & arouse his interest in reading 🙂

  • Reply Janice yen December 5, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    I would like to win it for my 2 years old son. He loves listening to ants on the apple. Everyday he will ask for my hp to see ants on the apple.

  • Reply Beverly December 4, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    I would love to win the book for my daughter who’s 2 years old! She loves to read and I want to teach her phonics through reading this book.

  • Reply Geraldine Lai December 3, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Thanks for sharing this! I’d like to win it for my daughter, Ameline.
    Have an enjoyable holiday with your loved ones during this festive season!
    My email:
    Warmest wishes,
    Geraldine Lai

  • Reply Candy December 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    I hope to win it for my sons, 4 and 17 months. It’ll be a useful book to have!


  • Reply Waiwai December 3, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Hope to win for my two children! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  • Reply Robert Sim December 3, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    It will make an awesome present for my son turning one in Dec. Yes, still a bit young, but I can start playing the CD on our car rides. ;p


  • Reply Carol Lim December 3, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Would love to win it for my three boys!

  • Reply Karen December 3, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    I’d like win this for my nephew!

  • Reply Jackie December 3, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    I would love to win this set of phonics books for my Natalie:)
    Jackie Seah

  • Reply Cheryl Tan December 3, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    I would like to win this for my dear son, Aiden Yang.
    Cheryl Tan

  • Reply Geraldine December 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    I would like to win this for my twin gals who are learning to read.

  • Reply Sy December 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    For my daughter who loves picture books.


  • Reply Adeline December 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Would like to win this for Noah. I’m really bad with phonics, and we use Leapfrog at the moment too.
    Adeline /

  • Reply Shuqing December 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Would love to win this for my boy especially since he loves singing and learning new songs! Great way to get him to learn the alphabets and phonics.

  • Reply Wenli December 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    To be frank, I don’t think I’ve learnt phonics when I was young/back in school.
    This set will certainly come in very handy for my 2.5 yr old boy, especially the CD that I can learn along.

    Wenli –

  • Reply Ting December 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    I would love to win it for my sons, Kyle and Kyne!


  • Reply Jolin December 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Would love to win for my son. He’s into reading now but he is bored of the books at home.

  • Reply Christine December 3, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I would like to win it for my big monkey Davyen,who is picking up reading these days! 🙂

  • Reply Summer December 3, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Sounds like a good book to read! I’d like to win it for Angel, please! She is very much into phonics these days and I’ve been listening to the Phonics song and watching Phonics DVD! It would be great to have a book and CD to teach her too! Thanks!


  • Reply Amie Chen December 3, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Hope to be able to win this for my 3 years old son who loves to read
    Amie Chen,

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