Learning the ABCs is essential for preschoolers. Here are 12 of my favorite alphabet books for kids that will keep you laughing and playing while learning.
I had so much fun last month putting together a list of our family’s favorite laugh-out-loud funny books, that I’m bringing you another book list today, this one perfect for getting into the back-to-school spirit: alphabet books!
My boys LOVE the alphabet…Little Man is starting to get interested in the idea of reading and while he can’t do it on his own yet, he loves to talk about the letters of the alphabet and what words he know that start with each letter. It’s become a fun game, and we’ve been gathering alphabet books from the library to give us some variety. One of the fun things about alphabet books (aside from all the alliteration, which my English teacher heart LOVES) is that all the different books use different words that start with the various letters, so it’s fun to compare and contrast.
Here are my FAVORITE books for teaching the alphabet to my kids:
You knew this one would be on the list, right? I don’t know what it is about this book, but kids LOVE it! It’s a fun way to review the sequence of the alphabet and to identify the letters. We also turned it into a simple DIY board game that Little Man really enjoyed.
We have this book in a large anthology of Curious George stories, and it’s one of Little Man’s favorites. I like that it makes multiple connections to each letter by drawing the letter into the picture (e.g.- “C looks like a crab”). It also higlights the letter every time it’s used on the page, so it draws attention to how it can be used in context, even in the middle of a word. Little Man especially likes the part where George goes to buy doughnuts and uses his new-found skills to change the note from saying “one dozen” to saying “ten dozen.” Mischief-makers unite!
I didn’t know if this one would go over my kids’ heads because it mixes up the alphabet a bit, but they thought it was hilarious! (We also have a love of moose books). Zebra is running the show, but when he overlooks his friend moose in favor of the mouse, moose gets upset. In the end, their friendship is mended and the alphabet is a little more…creative. Lot of fun for preschoolers.
I already mentioned my love of alliteration, and this book is positively packed with perfect examples. 🙂 Beyond the silly words about lazy lions lounging in libraries, the illustrations of this book are to die for! I could (and did as a little girl) spend literally hours flipping the pages and searching for all the amazing pictures hidden on each page. Little Man loves to play I-spy with me while we turn the pages. We each pick something in the in the picture and the other person has to find it. There’s a reason it’s remained popular for more than 20 years.
Z is sick and tired of being last, so he decides to rearrange the alphabet. But then other letters start to change things, too, and it turns into complete pandemonium. Funny, bold, and creative, this book is a fun read-aloud that will have everybody laughing and learning at the same time (which is the best combination, after all).
I found this book last month when we were doing a home preschool unit on pirates. I didn’t have high hopes for it because I feel like a lot of times themed books like this have to work too hard to make all the letters fit, but my boys and I both loved it! In the story, the pirate captain decides that they need more letters than just “R” (“argh”), so he and his crew embark on a “treasure hunt” of sorts to capture the rest of the alphabet (I bet you can guess where they find “x”). With clever rhymes and the fun of hunting for the letters on each page along with the pirates, your kids will be singing sea chanteys in no time.
If you have a little one who loves construction as much as my boys do, you need to get this book. They’ll learn about the alphabet while they watch their favorite construction trucks build an amusement park for all the kids in the neighborhood to enjoy! I love the colorful illustrations, and the little details in the pictures of the kids in the background watching the construction workers building away.
This is another great book for the little boys in your life who like all things related to dirt, garbage, and YUCK in general. The McMullans tell the story of a garbage truck who goes around the town cleaning things up and labeling all the crazy, gross things that people throw away. By the way, if you’re in the market for more truck books, this duo has created a whole series of them: I’m Dirty, I’m Brave, I’m Fast, and I’m Mighty. You can bet we’ve read them all. 🙂
This zany book is as fun as its cover suggests. It’s full of hidden pictures, crazy combinations, and a visual scavenger hunt for things that start with each letter of the alphabet listed at the end of the book. Sometimes the rhyme and rhythm is a little clumsy, but my kids didn’t notice and loved it all the same.
I love the clever concept in this book of all the little peas acting out various scenes to depict each letter of the alphabet. Who knew vegetables could be so cute and friendly? We have the board book version, which is perfect for little hands.
With bold letters and pictures true to the famous author/illustrator’s style, this simple and fun lift-the-flap book is a great introduction to the alphabet for young toddlers. I also like that for many of the letters Carle chooses animals that are less common (e.g.- “E is for eagle” and “Q is for quetzal”). This one is inexpensive and has been well-loved at our house…a perfect baby shower gift (I almost always include a book when I give baby gifts. I mean, you can’t have too many books, right?).
This book may be too complex for young toddlers, but it makes a GREAT puzzle for preschoolers. Why does Q stand for duck? Because a duck quacks, of course! The whole book is a guessing game that challenges the reader to make connections that may not be obvious at first. It’s a great way to get little ones thinking critically in a fun way!
Do you have these books on your shelves? Are there other alphabet books I should know about?
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