alphabet books we love

June 25, 2009

Cookie Magazine had an article about their favorite ABC books this month. Of course I was inspired to write my own list. There was only one book on their list that I had ever seen, but plenty of them look good enough to look for. 

I kind of have an ABC book obsession--don't know why--I just know that I like them. Maybe because they are more about the pictures than the words--they are more art than book. Or maybe the reason I like them is because they are BOTH art and book. 

Enough rambling, on with the books!

Classic: Dr. Seuss's ABC
You probably read this one as a child--it's still as good now as it was back then. Juliet loves the Fiffer-feffer-feff and I am big fan of Nixie Knox. If you don't have this one on your shelves, go out and get it. You'll be glad you did. (Incidentally, this is the only book on the Cookie list that I had ever read.)
Fine Art: Baby Einstein The ABCs of Art
Maybe you turn you nose up at Baby Einstein stuff, but this one is actually quite good. It features a piece of fine art by a great master on each page for each letter. Juliet loved looking at all the paintings--it's good for babies, toddlers, and anyone who likes art. Seriously. It's a good one. 
Beautiful: The Butterfly Alphabet Book by Brian Cassie and Jerry Pallotta
This one is straight up beautiful. It gives a lot of detailed information about various butterflies, but honestly, we just like looking at the pictures. Juliet will sit quietly for a long time looking at this one on her own. 
Whimsical and poetic: Apricot ABC by Miska Miles, Illustrated by Peter Parnall
Again, I have to say I LOVE the illustrations in this book. I would frame the pages and hang them on my walls if I had another copy to tear apart. 

This book also has a story line to go along with the letters. It's rhyming and fun and clever. Not the usual dumbed down language, but beautiful literary language--the kind of stuff that makes you smarter for reading it. For example, the Q page reads, "Quietly, from special places/ In the flickering shadow of Queen Anne's Laces,/Quickly ventured queer little things,/On fluttering, fragile gossamer wings." 

The letters are all hidden in tall grasses and under leaves, your child will have fun hunting for the letters. Also, there are various plants and flowers featured along with their names, so you can learn a little botany with your alphabet. 
Girly: A is for Annabelle: A Doll's Alphabet by Tasha Tudor
I love the illustrations on this one. The text is rhyming and beautiful too. If you have a little girl who likes dolls, this is the perfect ABC book for her. 

Will entertain your toddler for HOURS: Baby Einstein Alphabooks
Okay, here we are with baby einstein again, but I am telling you these are GREAT! Each letter has it's own book with the upper and lower case version on the front. Inside are several pages showing photos, art, or illustrations of objects beginning with that letter. The word of the object is also included on the opposite page. 

These are sturdy board books, so they are perfect for babies and toddlers who still like to bend/chew on books and aren't ready for regular paper yet. These really helped juliet learn her alphabet early on. She loved "reading" the books to me and was especially fond of the K book. It has a picture of a mom kissing her baby for the word "kiss". Every time we got these out, she would hunt through the box to find the K book first, open it to the kiss page and say, "kiss!" Of course, then I would have to kiss her. These are easy to travel with and since they are more than 1 book, they entertain a child for a long, long time. You will get your money's worth out of these for sure. 
Fun to read more than once: The Letters are Lost by Lisa Campbell Ernst
We find ourselves reading this one over and over again. It's just easy to read and the pages feature a set of alphabet blocks that have gotten lost. Juliet enjoys seeing the A flying away on an airplane and K riding around in a kangaroo's pouch. This one definitely appeals to young children and would be great for babies, too. 
For the Bug Enthusiast: Miss Spider's ABC by David Kirk
Juliet loves bugs and birthday parties, so this one was sure to be a winner. All the bugs are planning a surprise party for miss spider...the ABC's appear along the way as they all get ready. It's really fun to look at and read. 

Lastly, I reviewed another ABC book that we LOVE called Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate's ABCs a few months ago. It's awesome. So awesome that we have checked it out twice from the library. If your kid is into pirates, he will love this one. 

I'm always interested in hearing what your favorites are. Let me know what ABC books you love!

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