Friday, February 11, 2011

Sharing Some of My Favorite Alphabet Books

Before ever formally teaching any of my children to read, we have filled their lives with books.  We have an extensive home library that gives our children plenty of reading options.  I've always loved alphabet books as an easy way to begin introducing letter sounds to my children.  I like to use a wide variety of them.  For one thing, each one has a different set of words it uses for the letter sounds, giving the child many different examples of a letter's usage.  Additionally, alphabet books can be a creative way of introducing other topics to your child, from math or science to the fine arts.

If you have a pre-reader or new reader in your home, here are some titles that you might like add to your home library.  Otherwise, check to see if your local public library has these available.


A is for Africa  introduces young children to another culture.  I think that the earlier this is done the better.  Young children are curious about the world around them as it is, so this is a perfect time to show them just how diverse the world is.  Seeing other children and how they live and dress...both the differences and the similarities...are invaluable to every child's education. This title is filled with photographs of traditional life and culture in Nigeria.

Bird Alphabet (A Happy Day Book) We've had this book since my oldest was about a year old.  It was a gift from my mother-in-law.  It has undergone numerous repairs over the years! Set in rhyme, it introduces a different bird for each letter of the alphabet.  A fun part of the illustration is that each letter is made with feathers.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Can a home library be complete without this book?  A perennial favorite, just about everyone in our household can recite this book from memory.  We've had to go through multiple copies over the last 20 years!  All of my children have taken great delight in exclaiming "OH NO!" when all the letters fall from the tree.

The Frog Alphabet Book , The Butterfly Alphabet Book, The Underwater Alphabet Book, The Icky Bug Alphabet Book and more, all by Jerry Pallotta, are humorous and extremely educational.  For younger listeners, you can simply read the letter and the name of the highlighted creature or object.  For older listeners there is more in-depth information provided to enhance their learning experience. Pallotta has written over two dozen alphabet books, so you're sure to find at least one of his titles that will interest your child.

Museum ABC provides a wonderful way to introduce very young children to the works of many great artists.  From The Metropolitan Museum of Art, this book includes works by Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Claude Monet and other western artists, as well as pieces from Japan, China, Africa and more.  I love giving my children early exposure to great works of art, and this book is a gentle introduction that gives young children a familiarity with the images of a wide variety of artists and artistic styles.

Dr Seuss ABC is another one of those books that I can't imagine a home library without!  This book too is nearly memorized in our home.  Filled with the typical whimsy of Dr Seuss, my personal favorite is the choice for the letter "T":  Ten tired turtles on a Tuttle-tuttle tree.

Eating the Alphabet is a new favorite in our home.  Multiple examples of fruits and vegetables are given for each letter of the alphabet.  This has helped my preschooler be more open to trying some of these, as she's excited when she recognizes their name from this book!  One time we had a lot of fun going to the grocery store together and looking for some of the produce named in this book.  She was so excited to see eggplant and kohlrabi!

There are so many more delightful titles I could share here, but then this post would get way too long!  I'd love to hear about your own favorite alphabet books.  Please share yours!

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