Perfectly Polite Penguins and the Use of Alliteration

Alliteration. The perfect tool for capturing a toddler’s attention – and trust me, that is no mean feat. I have read a lifetime of children’s books. Next to a good sing-song rhyme, the use of alliteration has the potential to keep kids coming back to the same story time and time again.

When looking for ways to capture an audience we can do worse than taking inspiration from the way children’s fiction is written, for alliteration helps form the building blocks to making words memorable. And who doesn’t want this for their brand?

Perfectly Polite Penguins is a book I purchased for my three year old to help him navigate those turbulent tantrum years. In the story, Polly, a naughty penguin who likes to throw fishy snacks and really needs to get her shit together finally comes to the realisation that it’s not all about her and is able to reintegrate into a society of Perfectly Polite Penguins.

Another favourite is Fussy Freda, a terrifying tale with box office potential about a young girl who refuses to eat what her parents cook until she begins to shrink and is eaten by the family cat. It’s perhaps still a little more censored than the story of a cannibalistic old lady who lives in a house made of gingerbread, but for me (and my three year old) the additional use of alliteration gives this story a impactful double-whammy.

A quick glance at pop culture shows that it is literally littered with alliteration. ( See what I did there? ) Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse are now clever literacy devices that evoke nostalgic emotions for many. The rhetoric of politicians and the most memorable phrases of the greatest minds known to human kind have all used this memory-tool.

Is it sometimes over-used, dare I say it, cliche? Yes. It won’t suit all brands so proceed with a degree of caution. However if like me, you’re still a fan of the good old-fashioned flipchart and marker pen brainstorming method, then by all means go mad. Next time you pass a book shop pop in and browse the selection of early years fiction for you may just be picking up a valuable business tool. Remember, the same rhythmic patterns of our pre school years still resonate with the psyche of adulthood.

The best piece of advice I can give above all else and however you decide to use alliteration for your content, always, ALWAYS be a perfectly polite penguin.

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