Author’s note: The alphabet text for this book comes from a playground game I learned in grammar school in the fifties. The game was played by bouncing a ball, one bounce for each word. And each time a word beginning with the correct letter of the alphabet came up, the player had to put one leg over the ball as it bounced. The object was to think of names and places and things to sell for each letter of the alphabet and not to miss the ball. The uniqueness of playground games–whether they are clapping games, jump rope rhmes, or ball bouncing games–is that they are taight by one child to another without the more formal instruction that an adult, such as a parent or teacher, would provide. The reason for this is not completely clear since adults in general pass on many children’s songs and rhymes; but perhaps it is as simple as the fact that adults just don’t like to play children’s games. In any case it is clear that many of these playground ditties remain eternal–thirty years after I learned them, my children brought them home to me. Generation after generation, they never seem to leave the world of the child.
A variety of animals parade by in this familiar jumprope alphabet song.
The antics never quite quit as a parade of animals sell their wares in this wildly illustrated version of the familiar alphabet ditty and ball-bouncing game. Young readers will delight in meeting such characters as Barbara, the bear with balloons for sale in Brazil; New York Ned, the newt who owns a noodle emporium, and finally the zipper-selling Zambian zebra and zebu, Zelda and Zach.