Monday, May 10, 2010

Little Nippers Top 10 Alphabet Books

Little Nippers Top 10 Alphabet Books
by Michelle Berg

There are many books available that teach the ABC’s but not all of them are entertaining. Let’s face it, kids want to have fun! If we choose a book that entertains, I think we will find that they will be eager for more. My primary goal in compiling this list was to find books that would charm, amuse and engage our young listeners so that story time is enjoyable for the whole family. I’ve reviewed over 50 Alphabet Books and the following I have found to be the best:

10.  Alphabet World by Barry Miller
My list begins with a wordless picture book. Without text, Barry Miller simply gives us his remarkable photographs of images that portray each letter of the alphabet. Letter forms can be found in the shapes of traffic lights, coffee cups and even police barricades. Each page is covered with transparent tissue with the represented letter printed boldly. Children will enjoy tracing each letter and then locating it in the photograph below. This is an old book; check your local library for a copy.

9.   Alligator Alphabet by Stella Blackstone and Stephanie Bauer
This delightful tale is perfect for young children just beginning to discover books. From Alligators to Zebras, children will learn their ABC’s and surely love the portrayal of each animal as it relates to the letters of the alphabet. The letter B is bouncing on the bear; the C is riding on the camel’s back; and the D is inside the dolphins’ mouth. The text consists of short simple rhymes and will certainly to hold the attention of even the youngest audience.

8.  Q is for Duck by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom
A book of riddles to challenge the youngster who has already mastered their ABC’s! “Q is for duck. Why? Because a Duck Quacks!” This unique book will have your child guessing from A to Z. They will enjoy linking together new associations to letters and words. This book is an excellent tool for teachers and parents looking for an interactive book during story time.

7.  Cleo’s Alphabet Book by Caroline Mockford
If you like Q is for Duck, you will also enjoy this adorable picture book. Cleo’s Alphabet also involves a guessing game where clues are provided through rhymes and illustrations. Each page features a curious cat named Cleo who is busy exploring her world. The suggested reading level on Amazon is Baby-Preschool; however, I would recommend this book for children ages 4-5 since they are more likely to make the correct connections.

6.  Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
A hilarious approach to learning the alphabet, this book is wildly entertaining! When kitty realizes that all of her favorite foods are gone she decides takes a stand. And boy does she behave badly! For starters, she Ate her owners homework; Bit Grandma and Clawed the curtains (among other things). After a grocery trip, however, she does her best to make amends. “Apologized to Grandma; Bought me new toys; Cleaned her cat box…” Bruel conveys his story by using the alphabet 4 times! He has written several children’s books and they are all very popular in our household.

5.  The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra
This book was highly recommended to me by a number of parents and it is ideal for children ages 2-5. In this zany tale, the children of Alphabet Town do NOT want to go to bed and will find any excuse to stay up late! As you follow the characters from A-Z you will grin, giggle and eagerly turn to the next page. Children will delight in the playful, off-handed illustrations of the googely-eyed Lower Case letters and their flustered Upper Case parents. This highly entertaining book will not only teach the ABC’s but leave your child enthusiastic about story time.

4. G is for One Gzonk! by Tony DiTerlizzi
“Say good-bye to boring books, where bears can bounce a ball…” begins Tony DiTerlizzi in his outlandish version of the ABC’s. In a narrative style reminiscent of Dr. Seuss he is truly a gifted author and illustrator. Using creatures such as the “Cootie-Noodle”, “Hungry Hoofle Foofle” and the “Grand Gzonk” he gives us an alphabet book to remember.

3. What Pete Ate from A-Z by Maira Kalman
This book deserves the high rank of 3rd place for its originality! In this lavishly quirky story, the author describes all the crazy things her dog ate in alphabetical order. And crazy is putting it mildly! He eats an accordion, a camera, an egg slicer, a glue stick and even underwear! It appears that this dog will eat anything except his Zug Zug Dog Grub! Kalmans description of Pete’s appetite is full of witty gusto, complete with side commentary and whimsical illustrations. I highly recommend!

2.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
My children wouldn’t let me make a top 10 list of alphabet books without including this classic. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is their favorite! When they were young they loved listening to the rhythmic verse. Now they enjoy reading it themselves, again and again. In this highly imaginative tale, the letters in the alphabet partake in a race to the top of the coconut tree until all of them fall down into one large jumbled heap! What happens then? Well, the letters are injured in one way or another. They come out of the pile up, bruised, twisted and missing teeth! “H is tangled up with I/J and K are about to cry!” Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault gave us a gift with this book and it is sure to please every parent and child!

1.  Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss
Even after all these wonderfully entertaining alphabet books, Dr. Seuss’s ABC is still my favorite. This book is a fabulous learning tool. Dr. Suess skillfully applied his signature nonsensical narrative to help children learn their ABC’s. Each page reinforces the basic concepts of upper and lower case. In addition, he frequently stopped for review by choosing a few pages throughout the book to repeat the letters we have already learned. This book is a joy to read and helped both of my children learn their ABC’s with ease!

Michelle Berg is a publisher and author for Little Nipper Books. Please visit her website:

Jane here...

We've got quite a few alphabet books in our house - but only 2 on this list, so we'll definitely be checking out the library!

Are there any alphabet books that have really worked for you?  Leave a comment - I'd love to hear what they are! 

Do you have a kid-related post on books or reading?  Here's your place to link up!  Check the rules if you've got questions.


Jonita said...

We love "Chick, Chicka, Boom, Boom" too!!!!

The1stdaughter said...

Love this post! SO many great titles in the collection. I can't wait to pick up a few I hadn't read yet! Thanks!

Barb Webb said...

Great list!

Thanks for inviting me over to your blog and for visiting the Country Bookshelf. Glad to "connect." :)


Carrie said...

What a fun feature! Thanks for letting me know about it!

Happy Birthday Author said...

Nice feature. Thanks for inviting me to post my link. It was perfect since I was adding my Peter Sis birthday post today.

Abi said...

Sounds like a fun learning thing.

Margaret Perry said...

what fun! I'll definitely be back!