Picks and Pans Review: The Animal Alphabet

updated 05/19/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Sesame Street still has the franchise on quick-take ABC lessons for the little ones. This, though, is a very lively, attractive tape that covers the whole alphabet—if you can sit the kids down for 30 minutes at a stretch. It combines film footage of animals—most of it from National Geographic's splendid film library—with snatches of animation. On the sound track are songs by New York composer Elizabeth Swados. The music is bright and intelligent, ranging from the bouncy opening melody for "alligator" and rap tune for "camel" to country for "horse," rock for "ostrich" and a Cab Calloway seat for "penguin." The lyrics are hipper than usual, too: "The lion is a proud and bossy beast/ I'd like to be a lion for a week at least." Anyone who buys this tape is likely to watch it more than once, so it's more than pleasing that the material is so much fun; it's a relief. (Karl-Lorimar, $19.95)

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