Tag Archives: alphabet

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)










The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

by Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown and Company, 2017

Illustrated in clean, crisp drawings, we follow a little red cat who decides to go for a run.  But yikes! He runs into an alligator. Then a bear chases the alligator and cat.  Then a chicken follows them. They run through the entire alphabet, slipping on Ice, swinging through Jungles and all the way back to where he began in his bed, where he Yawns and sleeps (ZZZZ’s).  Clever, fun, imaginative; there’s ‘energy’ on each page. The drawings leave it up to the reader to discover each letter’s “word”, although words are given at the end.

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K is for Kindergarten










K is for Kindergarten

by Erin Dealey, illustrated by Joseph Cowman
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

In this book, readers get two books.  One is an alphabet book, counting down the days before the first day of Kindergarten, and the second is an activities book, providing the anxious/excited child activities to both entertain and teach.

Author Erin Dealey weaves together poetry and kindergarten activities in the countdown.
“C is for crayons and coloring.
How creative can you be?
Glitter, scissors, paste, and yarn—
make some art for all to see!”

Each page includes a Kinder Countdown and a Kinder Challenge introducing or reviewing, depending upon your child, kindergarten basics, like the ABC Song, drawing, jump roping and music.

The illustrations are rich, colorful and right on target to capture the emotions leading up to starting school.This book is a delight to the ear and eye and includes pages of interactive things to do.

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Oops Pounce Quick Run! An Alphabet Caper












Oops Pounce Quick Run!  An Alphabet Caper
by Mike Twohy
Balzer + Bray, 2016
2017 Geisel Honor Book

Using approximately 26 words, beginning with A and ending with Z, we follow a story of a sleeping mouse who is chased by a dog when the dog’s ball accidentally bounces into the mouse’s lap.  For readers learning the alphabet, they’ll delight in finding the next letter really does continue the story as the chase goes through the Kitchen, Living room, and the mouse is Missing.  The O, P, Q, R in the title are the actual words in the story.  See how the illustrations work together with the alphabet words to make this story one of suspense, yet one with an endearing ending.  A fun and educational read.

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Take Away the A (a “thinker” alphabet book!)

Take Away the A
by Michael Escoffier, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo
Enchanted Lion Books, 2014

A ‘thinker’ alphabet book where the reader starts with a word, then takes away one letter to form a new word.  When A is taken from Beast, for example, the beast is Best!  And without the K the Monkey makes Money!  An exploration of words, spelling and quirky illustrations that create a scene and play up the humor of the words used.

This tall, oversized book is probably better for the child that can recognize words and appreciate the transformations and play on words.  After 26 examples, they may want to see what word plays they can create.  To expand their visual creative skills, they can imagine a scene in which to portray the words.  A brain stretcher, for sure!

But, as in any alphabet book, what does the author do with q and z?  The answer is ‘get very clever!’

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Z is for Moose

Z is for Moose
By Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O Zelinsky
Greenwillow Books 2012

This alphabet book includes a director and a long cast of characters including a moose who loves the spotlight. He enters the scene at the letter D, and Director Zebra orders him off stage; M is Moose’s letter. Moose enters E’s frame to apologize, taking the attention from Elephant. Eager to be in the spotlight again, Moose appears on the H page, asking “Is it my turn yet?” and again is ordered off. He hides behind the Ice Cream and runs across a Jar, pops out of a Kangaroo’s pouch, and announces on L’s page that his page is next. Only the director had decided to use Mouse for M. The Moose declares it was his page, but the director says no. The moose charges across the O and P pages. Hilariously funny, the Moose appears on every page, becoming sad by the time he reaches the X page, for he has to admit that he will not be used for his own page. But Zebra Director finds a way to get him on stage legitimately. In between all the interruptions and commotions of Moose and Zebra, readers learn the alphabet!

Find out why this has become a best seller.

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By Suse MacDonald
Bradbury Press, MacMillan Publishing, 1986
Caldecott Honor Book

I fell in love with this book as I studied each illustration that transforms a letter into a word beginning with that letter. On the cover you watch the letter J slowly turn into a jack-in-the-box.

Brilliantly done, it teaches children on many levels. They learn how things fit together, they learn to look for other ways something can be seen (perspectives), and they learn about the sound of the letter shown. Especially if you have a young one who likes to see how things work or has an artistic inclination, this will get them started at a very young age.

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