I have it in my head that alphabet books are an essential for small children. Teaching letters in association with words forms the groundwork for learning to read, and rhyming words are a great tool for helping children learn the art of speech. My 13-month-old currently has two alphabet books on her shelf and both are equally awesome.
Dr Seuss’ ABC uses repetition, rhythm, rhyme and a large dose of insanity to emphasise letters. The alphabet characters are beautifully bonkers and the Dr’s sense of humour contagious. My favourite page in the book describes the letter Z, and reads like this:
What begins with Z?
I am a
as you can
Duh! A Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz – I live next door to one. Get with the programme.
I love it!
Jeepers Creepers A Monstrous ABC is another really fun alphabet book that my daughter Amelia simply adores. The illustrations are bright and fun, and the content is comically captivating. The book provides an alphabetical list of monsters, who are non-scary and really curious. I think that it is a great idea to demythologise that which is considered mysterious so that children are able to enjoy the creativity and imagination associated with the fantastical. Lara Leuck’s book does just that…
Oliver has vulture wings.
Peggy has a thumb that stings.
Quentin’s eyebrows tend to crawl.
Rob looks like a basketball.
The book’s ending is a clever reversal of the monster idea. The crazy creatures …
…spot a REALLY freaky one -
with blinking eyes, a bumpless chin,
roundish ears and furless skin,
a tiny tongue, a weird hairdo
and such a silly body, too!
And when the animals all turn to stare at Amelia, she squeals with anticipatory delight as a multiplicity of big eyes stare back at her from the page.