If you have babies and toddlers you should have an ABC book in your home library. It doesn’t really matter which book it is, as long as it has the entire alphabet, pictures, and words that start with all the letters. There are many options out there, but I’ve pulled four of our favorites out to share.
The first book is Miss Spider’s ABC by David Kirk. Being a board book, it stands up well against daily life. It’s appealing to little ones because they can chew and play with it, without getting in trouble. Also, it has bright colorful illustrations. Being a Miss Spider book means each letter features a bug, and they seem to be getting ready for some kind of party. It has fun alliterative phrases like, “Bumblebees Blow Balloons.” You can really focus on the sound of the letter when reading this one aloud. The best part is at the end when you turn the last page and get to yell, “SURPRISE MISS SPIDER! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” At least, that is the favorite part at our house.
Eric Carle’s ABC is another great alphabet book option. This one is no muss no fuss. It features simple straight forward illustrations of the letters, accompanied by a picture of an animal that starts with that letter, and the word. This book also features fun flaps. Every other page has a flap to flip with letters inside. My 10 month old is at a loving-the-flaps stage right now. So this is a popular book at the moment. You just can’t go wrong with Eric Carle, ever.
The Race Car Alphabet by Brian Floca is one of our most popular library books. My four-year old checks it out ever few weeks or so. Cars, anything with wheels, are very important at our house. This book uses race cars, starting with cars from 1901 and ending with cars from 2001, to go through the alphabet. It is good for older toddlers because of its alliteration and vocabulary. You can really focus on the sounds of the letters in the words with this book. It has lot’s of great sound words, and those boys love sound words. This one will probably appeal more to boys than girls.
My last alphabet book doesn’t actually have any words at all. Brad Sneed’s Picture a Letter is all illustrations. It shows the letter in color, made up various objects and people. The rest of the illustration is in black and white, but it is full of objects, animals, and things that begin with the featured letter. Some of them really make you think. It is always possible to find something new in these pictures. We look at them and try to identify the people and things, using the letters as guides. We talk about why it has to be an alligator, and not a crocodile, since it is on the A page, and things like that. Another great thing about Sneed is that he is from my home state of Kansas! (Actually, his aunt was my accounting teacher in high school, that’s how I first heard about him.)
These are only a few great ABC books, but I know there are more. If you have one that is a favorite at your house, please share it in the comments section.
Next week I will do a sister post to this one. We will talk a little about the importance of letter recognition to early literacy, and give some reading strategies and tips you can use with alphabet books and toddlers.