Thursday, August 27, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Favorite Alphabet Books Revisted

I have a warm spot in my heart for alphabet books.  I love seeing how creative authors can be in an effort to introduce children to this building block of words. And yet, they aren't just for young children! The format of introducing a topic using an alphabetical format can be fun for older children too! So many interesting and more advanced topics can be introduced at any age by the simplicity of the A B Cs.

More than four years ago, I gave a list of favorite Alphabet books for young children in this blog post: Sharing Some of My Favorite Alphabet Books. Those titles still are favorites of mine, especially the ones by Jerry Pallota, since the text has two different degrees of challenge for readers.

Today I'll share some of my favorite alphabet books for older children.

Last school year, my youngest daughter discovered these two delights by author  David Schwartz, G is for Googol, and Q is for Quark.

I'm all about whetting children's appetites for math and the sciences, and I think these two books do an excellent job! While certainly not through studies, they give enough information to the reader to help them recognize the terminoloy and recall a small bit of information about them for when they inevitably encounter them later.  I'm a firm believer that it's far better for children to receive a gradual introduction to advanced math and science topics and vocabulary. It's much harder, I think, for students to have their first encounter with these things as high school students. Better to get bits and pieces when they are young so that as they dig deeper into the subjects in later years, there's at least a slight familiarity with the information. 

The Handmade Alphabet  by Laura Rankin beautifully portrays each letter of the alphabet in American Sign Language, along with an object starting with that letter. This gentle introduction to ASL can be a fun book to expose children to this unique language.

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions quite deservedly won the Caldecott Medal for its illustrations. I'm always on the lookout for books which help my children learn about the many wonderful cultures around the world.

Then there's B is For Bluegrass: A Kentucky Alphabet and all the others in the Discover America State By State series. (There's also a Discover the World series!) These are great additions to any state study and provide a great way to learn new things about the state you live in or one you plan to visit.

It seems no matter the topic you're studying, you can likely find a book to introduce it using the simple format of an alphabet book! Do you have some favorite alphabet books in your home?

No comments: