Alphabet books are not just for the diapered set! My mom was a huge fan of using alphabet books in her fourth-grade classroom. Now that I have a soon-to-be fourth grader myself, I can see why. Here are six of alphabet books we can all enjoy along with the toddler:
Animalia by Graeme Base is an exquisitely illustrated alphabet book. The internet is full of ideas of how to use Animalia to teach alliteration, and it would be great for that. (“Crafty crimson cats carefully catching crusty crayfish” is the text for C.) What we really like is finding all the extras in the illustrations. The same C page, for example, includes a cucumber, camera, cow, cobra, candle, castle, cauldron, and more. I’ve read this book many times and I’m still finding new things each time through.
8: An Animal Alphabet by Elisha Cooper is one of my favorite alphabet books for any age. Each page includes watercolor depictions of various animals, some of which are delightfully obscure. It’s not surprising to find a dolphin or duck for D, but what about a dung beetle?
Take Away the A by Michaël Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo is a book full of wordplay. Each page takes a word and changes it by removing a single letter. The bright pictures depict the scenario, keeping the younger kids entertained and illustrating the swap. For example, “Without the R, the crab hails a cab.”
Alphabet Everywhere by Elliott Kaufman. The idea of an alphabet book with architecture and other letter shapes around town is not new, but Alphabet Everywhere is my current favorite because each letter is represented so many times. Some of the pictures are obvious enough for my toddler to recognize, and others keep my eight-year-old pondering and looking around town for ideas.
Q is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing Game by Michael Folsom, Mary Elting, and Jack Kent reminds me of 1+1=5 and Other Unlikely Additions but with words. When is Q for duck? When the duck quacks, of course! It’s a simple book, but we love the twist on a very common theme.
LMNO Peas by Keith Baker. I almost didn’t include this book, thinking that everyone in the world knows and loves it already. On the off chance you haven’t read any of Baker’s Pea books, do. They are bright, quick, and fun. If it’s been a long day and your baby asks for 10 books at bedtime, you can read the book in no time. If you’re looking to fill some time or grandma comes to read to the kids, you can take the time to check out all the peas’ antics. Each illustration is full of tiny details worth noticing at least once. (There’s no parent shaming going on here: I’ve sped through it and liked it that way too.)
Did I miss any alphabet books older kids can enjoy? I’d love to hear your favorites!