Alphabet Book List

animalia by Greame Base

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Animalia by Graeme Base is iconic in teaching circles, you can loose yourself for hours in the detailed illustrations. The book is an alphabet book on steroids! Each page had a wonderful paragraph in each letter such as for the letter L ” Lazy Lions lounging in the local library.” The pages are filled to the gills with pictures of things that start with that letter as well. Parents and kids a like will fall in love!


Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming is a wonderful example of what an alphabet book should be. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers learning their first letters, the text is short , the letters are front and center and the illustrations are fun and interesting. My son loves this book, I grabbed it at the library after remembering how much my Pre K class loved it too! Many alphabet books are too long to read entirety at circle time or in one shot with a toddler but this my 19 month old will sit through Z every time!


The Racecar Alphabet by Brian Floca did not live up to my expectations. My main complaint it that the letters aren’t showcased at all. Yes each page starts with the appropriate letter but I really feel like in an alphabet book the letter needs to be obvious , and easy for young children to pick out. The text was centered around each letter but there wasn’t very good flow from one page to the next. I was disappointed in this pick.

What Pete Ate
What Pete Ate from A to Z by Marie Kalman had my Pre-K class in stitches begging for more. It really is a funny book about a dog and his alphabetical list of things he’s eaten. I like it because it’s funny and simple and the alliterative text isn’t forced. The sarcastic bits will keep parents giggling too!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools but this one not only entertains it never gets old. It’s text is musical , it’s premise is brilliant in it’s simplicity and kids love it. My favorite line is ” Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. ” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have it, you should!
Chicka Chicka ABC is a fantastic board book and shorter version of the longer book. My son loves this book and it’s the perfect amount of text for a toddler, the illustrations by Lois Ehlert are so bright and bold that even very young babies will respond to it! A must have for all bookshelves.

Baby's Alphabet by Jean Marzollo
Baby’s Alphabetby Jean Marzollo will appeal to your baby and toddler, we were given it as a gift and my son has loved it since about 9 months on. The photographs of other babies will keep your little one interested and you will be surprised how soon they will anticipate the next page, I know I was. Sadly our copy is now flying the friendly skies , we took it on a flight with us last week and forgot it. Hopefully someone with a baby finds it !

The Ocean Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta is a good book, not a page turner but it is filled with fun facts about sea creatures. The book is geared towards older children but because it has letters prominently displayed on each page, with great illustrations your toddler will enjoy it too. The text really is too long to read from A-Z for a circle time or a toddler but it was very easy for me to simply read each letter and label the ocean animal for my son who then sat through the whole alphabet. If your child is into all things that swim this is a good book to foster that love and learn a little about letters at the same time!


Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson is a great book for older toddlers and preschoolers. The transportation themed book uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to go from A to Z. The text was a bit long for my young toddler but I shortened it and he was able to enjoy the book , children 2 and up will love it just the way it is! This is on my must buy list.


Match Point !

Shape Sorting

This was a little tricky for my little guy but if I had used all the same color for the shapes he wouldn’t have needed as much help, I think he was a little confused over which to match . Even if your child doesn’t quite get it, as long as they aren’t frustrated they will benefit from playing with the shapes .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1 large piece of paper or wraping paper ( using the reverse), 3 pieces of contruction paper in 3 colors, scissors, glue and a marker. You can also use crayons, paint or markers to decorate the shapes.
  2. Cut out 3 large shapes. You can do more for older children and less for children just learing their shapes.
  3. Cut our a bunch of small shapes that match your larger ones. Here is where I messed up, I should have only used the same color paper for each shape , but with older children feel free to make is harder and even have them cut out their own shapes.
  4. Glue your large shapes onto the big piece of paper.
  5. Start by giving your child just a few shapes and seeing if they know where to put them. You may have to help, that’s fine this activity needs a lot of parental involvement ( so no dishes or making dinner while you do this one ! ) . Once they figure it out, hand them the glue.
  6. Keep going!It took my little man a few times but he started getting it after a few minutes.
  7. Hang it up and try to find shapes around your house that match too!
Song!

Herman the Worm- remix!
Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum,
chomp chomp chomp,
Playing with my yo yo ,
woo woo,
When a long came Herman the worm,
and he was shaped like this__( hold up a shape)__
And I said ” Herman what happened?”
And he said I ate a ___( name the shape)____

Do with as many or as few shapes as you please !


Book

“Mouse Shapes” by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a cute book that ot only helps teach shapes it is also entertaining! The three crafty mice use the shapes to protect themselves from one hungry cat finally using them to make scary mice to frighten the cat away! Kids love to help find which shapes are use in the authors collages and older ones can even anticipate what the mice will make next!


Quick Fixes!

Fast and Easy !
Sometimes long weekends means there are parties, BBQ and big events that don’t allow
you the time for big elaborate crafts but you can fit these quick fixes into even the busiest schedule, even if it’s just allowing your child to “help” you get some things done.

  1. Kitchen Caper! My son loves “helping” me cook. He has never been a big eater but if he helps make the food he always eats it. Here he is helping me make cookies, don’t worry the mixer is unplugged , we count , scoop, measure and pour while making treats! Oh and be the official butter taste tester!
  2. Water Scooping. I propped up a plastic mixing bowl on top of another filled it with water and let him splash and scoop.
  3. Patio drawing ! Out door chalk is awesome, it comes clean with water, and comes in bright fun colors.
  4. At Home Museum! We grabbed some Art books and looked for cats, boats and apples in the paintings, it lasted almost 40 minutes and made no mess! Here we are enjoying gothic architecture!

Parent’s Corner: Product Review


Do* A* Dot*Art

As a teacher I loved these, little hands do well holding a thicker bottle and they are easy to set up and take out. The real test though is if I still like them when it’s my kitchen , my child’s clothing and I don’t have an assistant teacher to get to clean it up !

What I liked: I loved that they really don’t make a huge mess. As hard as I tried to squeeze and slam it down on my paper it didn’t splatter. I liked the colors and how vibrant they were, and I liked that my son loved doing “dot dot dots”.

What I don’t like: I question their wash ability, although we’ll have to wait until I wash my son’s clothes to see. The reason I say this is because the inside info sheet suggests using a detergent with bleach to get the paint out…. doesn’t sound like this stuff comes out easily. Also I thought the price was a little steep , the regular price was 14.99 although a very nice lady in line at Michael’s handed me a 40% off coupon!

**Update since washing the clothes, no major stains. I washed his white shirt with some shout and free and clear detergent and it all came out!


What my son liked : He loved the sound of the dobber hitting the paper, he kept saying “dot dot dot” in time with it hitting the table. He also liked the feel of the tip on his tongue which is not a good thing. See Below.

What my son didn’t like: Being in timeout after getting many warnings about not putting it in his mouth. The concern is that this really is NOT a product for children who are still mouthing things, the top can come off if squeezed hard enough or bitten. It didn’t take much force to pop this off, an d the top is about the same size as a toddler’s windpipe – so please use with caution!
The box actually has a 3+ warning on it but I know many 3-4 year olds who like to test things with their mouths too. Please use extra caution with any child who might put it in their mouth. Nothing compares to close adult supervision!

All Buttoned Up!

Naptime Creation
Button Mosaic

I was hoping I would be able to do some art with buttons with my son, we played with the buttons carefully but as soon as we started art he tried to eat them. So we’ll try again in a few months. This is a great craft for preschoolers/ school agers who unlike my toddler are over putting everything in their mouths. Art projects like this help develop fine motor skills and hand eye coordination!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun colored buttons, glue, a pencil or marker, and 2 pieces of construction paper.
  2. Have your child draw a simple shape or if they are older something more detailed. My son’s love of fish and my lack of talent lead me to choose a fish. You may want to map out your pattern before adding the glue but you don’t have to. I swear I took pictures of these steps, I however must be mistaken because they are no where to be found! )
  3. Add your glue
  4. Start adding the buttons! I added more glue as I went along as well.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Cut out and glue onto the 2nd piece of construction paper.