Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Now I Know My ABC's

There is no shortage of alphabet themed picture books available in the market. You think of a theme; there's bound to be an ABC book. Many of them are delightful, creative and clever books that deliver both a joyful experience and the educational experience. A problem exists, however, in that sometimes the alphabet format can end forced and contrived - how many things really start with the letters Q and X? So just be cautious and just because it's an ABC book, you still need to evaluate it. You'll find below a few alphabet books out of the many great ones - enjoy and check them out from your local library!

The ABC Mystery by Doug Cushman
Follow a detective and his assistant through the alphabet as they chase an art thief. Clever rhyming text pairs with lively illustrations in this multipurpose title - alphabet book and mystery. (Ages 3-7)
(Full bibliographic info: Cushman, Doug. The ABC Mystery. Harper Collins, 1993.)

ABC NYC: A Book about Seeing New York City by Joanne Dugan
Photographer Joanne Dugan treats readers to a tour of New York City through her lens and through the alphabet. Some unusual choices for the letters make this an interesting alphabet choice. (Ages 4-7)
(Full bibliographic info: Dugan, Joanne. ABC NYC: A Book about Seeing New York. Henry N. Abrams, 2005.)

Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming
For all the arts and craft, tool and construction enthusiasts out there, Alphabet Under Construction takes us through the ABC's and through Denise Fleming's characteristic and bright illustrations. (Ages 3-7)
(Full bibliographic info: Fleming, Denise. Alphabet Under Construction. Holt, 2006.)

The Racecar Alphabet by Brian Floca
Racers, start your engines! Featuring detailed and beautiful watercolor illustrations, Floca leads the reader through the alphabet and through the history of the automobile. (Ages 3-7)
Full bibliographic info: Floca, Brian. The Racecar Alphabet. Atheneum, 2003.)

Alphabet: A Child's First ABC by Alison Jay
Featuring visually appealing old-fashioned illustrations, this alphabet book can also be an interactive I-spy. Each page features a main item and smaller objectives that start with the specific letter as well as an item that starts with the following letter. (Ages 2-6)
(Full bibliographic info: Jay, Alison. Alphabet: A Child's First ABC. Dutton, 2003.)

On Market Street by Arnold Lobel
This husband-wife team have created excellence for the children's literature field and this Caldecott Honor alphabet book is a delightful treat. (Ages 3-7)
(Full bibliographic info: Lobal, Arnold. On Market Street. Greenwillow, 1981.)

Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod
With alliteration throughout, dazzling and bright illustrations accompany a different superhero type character for each letter of the alphabet. This is one ABC book not to miss. (Ages 3-7)
(Full bibliographic info: McLeod, Bob. Superhero ABC. Harper Collins, 2008.)

Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans
Featuring endangered animals for every letter of the alphabet, the art work in this ABC earned the Caldecott Honor. (Ages 5-8)
(Full bibliographic info: McLimans, David. Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet. Walker and Co., 2006.)

Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman
The power behind this recently published alphabet book is Zuckerman's gorgeous photography. Mostly, each letter features an animal such as elephant for E, but occasionally other words fill in like quills for Q. (Ages 3-7)
(Full bibliographic info: Zuckerman, Andrew. Creature ABC. Chronicle Books, 2009.)


  1. Ooh, I'm interested to see that Alison jay book - I've just reviewed a book of hers ( ) and really liked her illustrations and the Arnold Lobel one looks a treat - I shall have to track it down!

  2. Excellent information provided by this blog.

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