I am a big fan of alphabet books! I find they are a great way to begin introducing children to the alphabet in an enjoyable non-intimidating way. Letters and the sounds they make are the basic building blocks for learning to read. And we all know reading is critical for early success in school. Also if children learn in a fun, entertaining way the hope is that they will develop a lifelong love of reading!
Start by choosing books according to your child’s level by checking length and content. Simple books with one letter and word plus a picture are a great start. Later you can look for concept books that help children visually associate letter shapes with the sounds they make. In my experience learning to recognize letters and their sounds is pretty abstract and difficult to master so don’t rush it. If you start early you can take your time and your child can learn in a relaxed, fun way. Also follow your child’s personality and likes when choosing. There are alphabet books for every interest imaginable including animals, dinosaurs, airplanes, princess, fairies, foods, and more. They also exist in a multitude of tones from the funny to the scary!
Here are some of my family’s favorites…
- Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks from A to Z, by Richard Scarry; A teeny durable board book that is great for little boys who love cars. It is also funny, with some absurd vehicles like the pickle car and the shoe mobile
- A is for Annabelle: A Doll’s Alphabet, by Tasha Tudor; A classic rhyming alphabet book originally published in 1954, with sweet illustrations and each letter representing Annabelle’s clothes and accessories.
- SuperHero ABC, by Bob McLeod; This one we check out of the library every other week! It is perfect for children obsessed with superheroes.
- Alphabatics, by Suse MacDonald; This Caldecott Honor book has a really neat concept. Each letter, in 3 steps, visually morphs into an object starting with that letter.
- Curious George Learns the Alphabet; by H. A. Rey; The one is great for an older child who is an emergent reader. The man with the yellow hat teaches George each letter by drawing them over objects that begin with the letter and also have a similar shape. He also explains that letters make works and once you know a, b, and c you can write the word cab!
- Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z; by Lois Elhert; Fruits and vegetables from around the world (includes a glossary – you’ll need it)!
- The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book; by Lisa Campbell Ernst; At every turn these letters are full of surprises. Imagine! What other things can you discover hiding in the alphabet (Amazon description)?
- Little Bird’s ABC; by Piet Grobler; This one is fun because it is fun of lots of funny sounds!
I hope you like these too. Do you have a favorite alphabet book? Please share!