Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hungry Monster ABC

For Halloween we thought we would share a funny book that uses monsters to tell a story using the alphabet.  Hungry Monster ABC, written by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, is a board book that has the top corner “bitten off” as a monster might have eaten it!

The ten monsters visit a classroom where a boy leads them through the alphabet by showing them words that begin with the letters.  The story, told in a rhyming pattern, is humorous and inviting.  Have fun visiting the monsters!

*What would you show the monsters for each letter of the alphabet?
*Which part of the story was the funniest to you?
*Where do you think the monsters will go next? 

Read more children's ABC books here!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Alphabet Times Four, An International ABC

Do you and your children like to learn words in other languages?  Alphabet Times Four, An International ABC, by Ruth Brown, provides an alphabetical list of words in four languages (English, Spanish, French, and German) accompanied by intriguing pictures.  The pronunciation is given below each word which is helpful as you read through the book.

We think this book is a fun way to explore other languages.  Some words appear the same, but have different pronunciations which can lead to good dialogue about languages.  We think you’ll enjoy this book!

*What other languages have you heard before?
*What words are your favorites?
*Which language had all capitalized words in this book?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Handsigns, A Sign Language Alphabet

Handsigns, A Sign Language Alphabet, by Kathleen Fain, is a wonderful way to introduce children to sign language.  Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a beautifully illustrated animal with an inset of how to sign the letter.  A glossary of the animals concludes the book so that more can be learned about the animal.

This book is a great tool to practice learning the letters of American Sign Language.  We have gotten this book out many times to review the letters.  This would make a great gift to any family who’s interested in learning the American Manual Alphabet.

*Which animal is your favorite?
*Can you learn all of the letters to sign one of the animal’s name?
*Can you sign your name?
*Would you like to learn more sign language?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Twenty-six Princesses

Twenty-six Princesses, by Dave Horowitz, is not your typical Princess story!   Children who enjoy a humorous book will find this book fun to read.  Each letter of the alphabet stands for a Princess who is described in a short line with a word that rhymes with her name.  These Princesses exhibit a variety of traits and actions that make a humorous read.  Have fun laughing with these Princesses!

*Which Princess is your favorite?
*Are you like any of the Princesses?
*Which picture did you like best?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ABC I Like Me!

ABC I Like Me!, by Nancy Carlson, is a great book to use with young children.  Each letter of the alphabet is used to describe the main character, a pig, by telling something the pig is or has.  The descriptions can be good conversation starters between children and parents.  It could also be used as a mentor text to write a book about things that describe oneself.  It’s a fun read with some good applications for life.

*Do any of the pages describe you?
*Do any of the pages describe something you’d like to be?
*What would you write in a book about you?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Alphabet

We like to read seasonal books so we were happy to find the Thanksgiving Day Alphabet written by Beverly Barras Vidrine and illustrated by Alison Davis Lyne.  It joins another book we like to read about Thanksgiving, T is for Turkey. The book provides a nice way to introduce children to various historical aspects of our Thanksgiving holiday in an interesting way.  The bold graphic alphabet letter frames the illustrations so the letter is very obvious and grabs a child’s attention.  These illustrations lend themselves to taking a picture walk through the book first, especially for younger children who are learning more about Thanksgiving.  We hope you like reading and learning more about Thanksgiving!

*What new vocabulary did you learn from reading this book?
*What new facts did you learn from this book?
*Which illustration did you like best?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paul Thurlby's Alphabet

Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet, by Paul Thurlby, is a fun, graphic book that children and parents will enjoy seeing.  Thurlby uses each letter of the alphabet to make a shape character that reflects the alphabetical word the letter represents.  The designs are bright and modern looking making the book fun to explore.  The Artist’s Note at the end of the book tells more about the process for designing the letters which makes the book even more enjoyable as you learn about this great example of creativity!

*Which letter is your favorite?
*Which letter do you think is most creative?
*Can you think of other character shapes to write the letters?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"R" is for Research

As children are learning more about research in younger elementary grades, it is often a challenge to explain the steps involved in completing a project.  “R” is for Research, written by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Nicole Wong, is a great read to help children as they explore resources and steps involved in research.  Using the alphabet to explain concepts is a great tool!

The children in the story (told in a rhyme) are in their media center along with Cal D. Cat as they learn more about research.  Of course the research revolves around cats!  From learning about books, journals, the Internet, and experts, the children are able to complete their project. We think you’ll find this an interesting way to look at research.

*What did you learn about research?
*Which tool did you find interesting?
*What would you like to research?
*What tools would you use?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

B is for Buckaroo, A Cowboy Alphabet

If your children are interesting in cowboys or cowgirls, B is for Buckaroo, A Cowboy Alphabet, written by Louise Doak Whitney and Gleaves Whitney, is a great book to expand their interest and knowledge.  Each letter represents some facet of the cowboy life as told in a four-line rhyme.   Accompanying the rhyme is a narrative that explains the concept in greater detail.  The illustrations by Susan Guy add to the story by making the rhymes come alive.

This book is in the style of  A is for Amazing Sports Moments.   Younger children could enjoy the rhymes and pictures while older children might enjoy reading the narrative for more learning.  Also included is a glossary to define the Spanish words that are used in the story.  Enjoy this fact-filled, fun book!

*What new vocabulary words did you learn?
*Would you like to be a cowboy/cowgirl?  Why?
*Which activity looked like the most fun to you?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Monday, October 22, 2012

If Rocks Could Sing, A Discovered Alphabet

If Rocks Could Sing, A Discovered Alphabet is a beautiful, nature-filled alphabet book!  The author, Leslie McGuirk, in her “Rock Talk” talks about looking for rocks on the Florida seashore for ten years to find rocks that resembled letters.  She found all of the letters except “X” which was found in Maine.  The beauty of this book is that each rock letter is represented by other rocks that look like specific objects.  For example, the letter “P” stands for penguin, and there’s a rock shaped like a penguin on the page.

We found this to be a glorious book depicting the wonders of nature.  We picked it up to read another alphabet book but discovered amazement at rock formations.  We hope you have to chance to look at and enjoy this creative book!

*Which rock letter is the most unusual to you?
*Which rock object do you like the best?
*Which do you think was the hardest to find?
*Would you like to look for rocks that look like letters?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Max's ABC

If your children like Max and Ruby, they’ll enjoy reading the book, Max’s ABC by Rosemary Wells.  This book follows Max’s adventures with the ants that escape from their ant farm.  The alphabet is used and highlighted on each page, but does not follow the familiar format of most alphabet books which use the A is for ___ (specific word beginning with A).  Children still have fun looking for the words that start with the letter in the story and reading about Max’s antics.  Enjoy this story with Max and Ruby!

*Which page was the funniest to you?
*What are all the ways Max and Ruby tried to solve the problem of the loose ants?
*What would you have done if you were Max?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A is for Abigail

A is for Abigail, the Almanac of Amazing American Women, written by Lynne Cheney, and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, is filled with examples of women of great achievements.  An alphabet format is used to spotlight American women whose name or achievements begin with that specific letter.  In addition to the main woman portrayed, many examples are given of women who have high achievement in similar positions.  For example, B is for Elizabeth Blackwell so other women of medical notoriety are listed. 

This book introduces many women to young readers.  Notes at the back of the book give additional information about the women listed.  We found this book helpful, but we felt it was visually overwhelming on some pages.  For some readers this might not pose a challenge, but the various styles used made it feel a little disjointed to us.  It is however, helpful as a reference point to learn more about American women’s achievements.

*What amazing woman did you learn about from this book?
*Which women inspired you the most?
*What occupations sounded interesting?

Read more children's ABC books!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Baby Einstein The ABCs of Art

Baby Einstein The ABCs of Art, by Julie Aigner-Clark, is an outstanding collection of artwork introduced by key words in alphabetical order.  What a fun way to introduce young children to a wide variety of art pieces!  We especially like the questions that encourage interaction (much like our goal of Question Collection) as the artwork is viewed.

Although the book may be marketed as part of the Baby Einstein collection, this is a book that children can return to at any age as they develop more art appreciation skills.  This is a great book to use before a family trip to an art museum.  The art credits given also help in identifying which pieces might be in a particular museum you anticipate visiting. 

*Which art is your favorite?
*Would you like to paint in the style of some of these paintings?  
           Which ones?
*Can you make your own art museum by collecting pictures from  
            magazines and newspapers?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Turn-Around Upside-Down Alphabet Book

There are so many alphabet books that look at the alphabet as a way of representing words, so it was with delight that we found The Turn-Around Upside-Down Alphabet Book, written and illustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst.  In this ABC book the letters are the stars!  Each letter is represented in bold color against a contrasting color on a black page.  White text frames the letter so that in order to read it you have to turn the book around, then upside down, then turn again…..thus the title of the book!  The fun thing is that when you turn the book around and upside down you see what the letter becomes, pretends to be, or dreams of being.  For example, the yellow O (on an orange background) “pretends to be a bagel, an owl’s eye, and a fried egg.” 

We think the author/illustrator has designed a very clever book!  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

*Which letter surprised you?
*What other things can you see from the letters?
*Which letters are your favorites?
*Are there other things that you see that look like something else  
         when you turn them around or turn them upside down? 

Read more children's ABC books!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A-B-C Look at Me

ABC Look at Me, by Roberta Grobel Intrater, is an ABC book that can be used by a wide age range of children.  An emotion is given for each letter of the alphabet, described in a rhyme, and depicted by a baby’s photograph illustrating that emotion.  The variety of baby’s faces in the book makes it interesting for babies and toddlers.  ABC Look at Me is also a great tool to use as children get older and try to identify their emotions.  Looking at the photographs and having an emotion to label that expression can lead to better communication between parents and children.  It’s also just a fun book looking at the babies’ photographs and reading the verses!  We hope you enjoy this book.

*Which photograph do you like best?
*Which letter/emotion describes how you feel right now?
*Which emotions have you felt?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


LMNOpeas, by Keith Baker, is one of the most fun ABC books we have!  Small peas are dressed up and hold various occupations that match each letter of the alphabet through this book. It’s fun for children to see the peas in their costumes while being inspired to think about different careers.  The colorful graphics just add to the enjoyment of LMNOPeas.  We think children of all ages will enjoy this ABC book!

*Which pea do you like the best?
*Which career sounds interesting to you?
*Are there any jobs you could add to each letter of the alphabet?
*How would you answer the question at the end of the book?

Read more children's ABC books!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A is for Amazing Moments--A Sports Alphabet

A is for Amazing Moments (A Sports Alphabet), written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Melanie Rose, is a book that will interest any sports fans.  Some letters stand for specific athletes and some represent an accomplishment.  Each letter is told in rhyming verse and accompanied by an in-depth narrative with more facts about the athlete or event.  The quality of the illustrations enhance the reading of A is for Amazing Moments.  Also included is a timeline of amazing moments at the conclusion of the book. Younger children will enjoy the rhymes while older children can gain knowledge from the narrative.  Enjoy learning more!

*Do you have a favorite athlete?
*What did you learn from this book?
*How do you think these athletes met their goals?
*Are there any of these sports you would like to try?
*Which illustrations do you like the best?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Flea Market Fleas from A to Z

Flea Market Fleas from A to Z, by Thelma Kerns, is a humorous book about a boy named Sam who accompanies his grandmother to a flea market in search of fleas!  During his search, he comes upon many items.  The author uses the alphabet with rhyming patterns to name various items that might be found at flea markets.  Sam continues his search, but we won’t give away the ending! 

*What did you think Sam would find?
*What items could you add to the two listed for each letter of the alphabet?
*What rhyming words did you hear?

Read more children's ABC books!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pigs from A to Z

Pigs from A To Z, by Arthur Geisert, is a clever book that uses the alphabet to tell a story about seven pigs who make a treehouse.  What at first seems to be a simple story of the alphabet naming something that goes along with the seven pigs’ work efforts evolves into a puzzle for the reader.  The beginning of the book indicates that sometimes one or more of the pigs may be hiding, but there will always be seven pigs on each page.  Also, the pictures reveal more clues to further challenge the reader.  For the alphabet letter being described, there will be five forms of it hidden in the picture, along with one form of the preceding letter and one form of the following letter.  It’s great fun to search for them!
Arthur Geisert’s imagination makes this such a fun alphabet book.  Have fun reading and searching!  And, we have to tell you, there is an answer key in the back if you need help!

*Which letter is your favorite in this book?
*Do the hidden pictures make it more fun for you?
*Can you imagine what the pigs are saying to each other?

Read more children's ABC books!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Come Rhyme With Me!

We love to read Come Rhyme with Me!, by Hans Wilhelm.  The author uses the alphabet to introduce animals via a rhyming pattern that’s completed by the reader.   Each two-line rhyme ends with a paper flap (with lines to indicate how many letters the rhyming missing word has) covering the rhyming word.  After the reader/listener has guessed the word, the flap can be lifted to reveal the correct word.  The rhymes are high interest and are illustrated by bright, humorous pictures.  This book invites interaction with the reader and listener.  It’s a great book to use to introduce children to rhyming in a fun way. 

*Were some rhymes harder than others?
*Which picture did you like the best?
*Can you think of some other rhymes to add to the book?

Read more children's ABC books!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amelia to Zora, Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World

As a family, we like to find nonfiction books that inspire us.  Amelia to Zora, Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World, written by Cynthia Chin-Lee and illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy, is a book that meets those criteria.  The multicultural female role models in this book are outstanding examples of lives to be studied.

The author names an inspiring woman for each letter of the alphabet (by first names), a narrative that tells more about their lives, and a quote from each woman.  The illustrators use a variety of artistic techniques that exemplify each woman’s achievements.  Amelia Earhart, Imogen Cunningham, Quah Ah, and Wilma Mankiller are a few of the unforgettable women who are listed. This book is a book that’s meant to be re-read for meaning.  It is sure to pique you and your family’s interest.  Fortunately, Ms. Chin-Lee has included a selected bibliography so that you can find more books about the women she introduces in the book.

This alphabet book is a great way to introduce children to biographies.  With twenty-six women to study, it’s easy to see how at least one of them will inspire children to dig deeper into a study of other people’s lives.

*Which women had you already heard about?
*Which women were new to you?
*Which stories did you find most inspiring?
*What special techniques did the illustrators use to convey the accomplishments of these
*Which quotes did you find most inspiring?

Read more children's ABC books!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The ABC Mystery

Do your children like to read mysteries?  The ABC Mystery, by Doug Cushman, is an easy to read alphabet book that uses each letter of the alphabet to take the reader through the steps of solving the mystery of a missing art piece.  The rhyming cadence and clue-filled illustrations add to the enjoyment of this book.  This book would make a good mentor text in writing classrooms to show sequential writing.  We think this is a fun book to share with others!

*Did you know who stole the artwork?
*What clues helped you solve the mystery?
*Can you name some rhyming words used in the story?
*Do you think you could write a mystery like this?

Read more children's ABC books!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eric Carle's ABC

Eric Carle books are a favorite for our reading times! Eric Carle’s ABC is one of his books that we re-read often.  It is a hit with babies and toddlers, and children quickly learn to read the animal names that accompany each letter of the alphabet.  The book is filled with Eric Carle’s signature artwork while flaps that open on alternating pages reveal the next letters in the alphabet.  This classic book is a great gift for families who are building their home libraries.  We hope you enjoy looking at and reading this book!

*Where is the  ____________?  (fill in the blank with various animals)
*Which animal is your favorite?
*Which animals have you seen?

Read more children's ABC books!

Monday, October 8, 2012

3-D ABC, A Sculptural Alphabet

3-D ABC (A Sculptural Alphabet), by Bob Raczka, is one of the most interesting, beautiful, and informative alphabet books we have ever read!  If you’re looking for a book that can be shared and enjoyed among different ages of family members, 3-D ABC will not fail to garner interest. 

The author names an object or idea for each letter of the alphabet by presenting a sculpture to represent that word.  Each sculpture is identified at the bottom of the page with the name of the sculpture, the artist, the year, the museum, and its location.  The short narrative accompanying each sculpture teaches something about sculptures in an easy to understand manner.  For example, through the narrative, the reader can learn the definition of abstract sculpture, relief, and kinetic sculptures.  The visual presentation of the sculptures along with the information encourages the reader to develop an appreciation of sculptures.

We think this book is a great gift idea for families, especially those who appreciate art and like to visit art museums.  I also think this book would be a great addition to a classroom library so that children who may not have the opportunity to visit museums can view and be inspired by art via a book.  This is a book that can be viewed and read countless times.  We hope it inspires you and your family!

*Which is your favorite sculpture?
*Which art museum does this book inspire you to visit?
*How do you think the author chose these sculptures?
*Would you like to make sculptures?

Read more children's ABC books here!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Country Road ABC

Country Road ABC (An illustrated journey through America’s farmland), by Arthur Geisert, provides children with a good contrast to Alphabet City.  The author names items or activities from the farm for each letter of the alphabet.  The first time we read this we found some unexpected words for each letter.  Fortunately, a glossary describes each term and makes the reading more understandable.  This book is for children who can understand farming terms from experience or the glossary.  The illustrations enhance the learning and enjoyment of the book.

Question Collection:

*What did you learn from this book?
*What farm items would you have included for each letter?
*What do you think about the illustrations?

Read more children's ABC books here!