Promoting Literacy with ABC Books

I love alphabet books. I love them as literary works, engaging
introductions to the alphabet, sources of great humor, and writing sparks.
There is no age limit to ABC books. As a teacher, I used them preschool through
fifth grade –you just have to look around to see which books appeal to you.


Monday’s post offered a bunch of ABC books to explore. Next Monday will have
a bunch more. But today I’m telling you about 4 more (bonus!) that missed my
attention when I was compiling the other lists. I’ll use them as models for how
to get the most fun out of whatever ABC book you’re reading.


 Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss

My favorite thing to do with ABC books is to guess what is
on the page that represents the featured letter. I do this whether or not I
have a young reader with me! For the youngest kids, this gives essential
opportunities to experience beginning sounds. As kids get older, they get to be
detectives, searching the page for possibilities.


Dr. Seuss’s ABC is a perfect book for younger kids and older readers. It
has the delightful prose of Dr. Seuss, plus lots of pictures on each letter
page to discover beginning letter sounds. One other benefit of this book – the
words are relatively easy to cover up so you can search for the letter pictures
in the illustrations. Be aware: this book has some challenging pictures! For
example, on the letter D page, who can find all these d-words? Doughnuts,
dream, dozen, duck-dog. For family fun, take turns being the one-in-the-know.


 Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman

This is a very beautiful and fun book. Although each letter
is usually represented by only one animal, the photographs are gorgeous and
sometimes you only see a part of the animal (chameleon tail, elephant leg,
vulture wing…) before you turn the page.


 Q is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing game by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom, illustrated by Jack Kent

Oh, how I wish I’d seen this book when I was teaching! It is
so clever, all my students would have loved it. The title tells it all – it is
definitely a guessing book. After picking it up at the library, I didn’t even
start the car until I’d read the whole thing. Not that I guessed everything. The
book starts with A is for ZOO. Why? [next
page] Because… Animals live in the Zoo.
Some of the letters are fairly easy to guess, but some draw on your knowledge
of animals.


 ABC Kids by

Each letter has a wonderfully alliterative sentence: Brianna bounces beautiful bugs. Jasper juggles juicy jellyfish. (don’t
try this at home!) Vera vacuums various vegetables.
Perfect for guessing.


ABC books offer some excellent literacy opportunities. Next
Wednesday I’ll suggest ways to create your own ABC books and ABC games to play.


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