ABC is only the beginning with these creative alphabet books that get kids learning their letters and so much more!
Parents share their picks for the best alphabet books on our growing list. These favorites use the ABCs as a familiar framework to present history, vocabulary, humor, sports and science. Whether you want to give your preschooler a foundation for learning to read or want to broaden your older readers' horizons in a fun way, these favorites will earn a spot in your family library among your favorite picture books to be enjoyed through many ages and stages.
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Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World
Erin P.: Work your way through the alphabet, from Amelia Earhart, pilot and adventurer, to Zora Neale Hurston, writer and anthropologist, to learn about 26 women who changed their world. This wonderful book from Cynthia Chin-Lee will inspire your children, and your daughters in particular, to dream big!
B is for Baller: The Ultimate Basketball Alphabet
Kelly R.: Introduce the greats of basketball history to your little dribbler with this ABC MVP from James Littlejohn. Basketball fans will be glad to discover there is no "C is for court" to be found here. Each letter tells a small story about the legends of the game, and the fabulous illustrations from Matthew Shipley are the icing on the cake.
Museum ABC: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Amy S.: This might be my favorite ABC book of all time, as it combines the alphabet with some of the world’s best art from The Met. Each letter is associated with one word, and that one word is represented by four different works of art. For example, “A is for APPLE” is accompanied by four different artworks of apples: a pop art apple by Lichtenstein, a still life by Cezanne, an Ancient Greek urn depicting women gathering apples, etc. We have so much fun discussing which “style” is our favorite and pointing out colors and other details of interest. I love that the book simultaneously reinforces alphabet recognition and ignites discussion about fine art.
ABCs of Science (Baby University Series)
Kelly R.: Chris Ferrie's Baby University ABC series proves that it's never too early to introduce STEM concepts to kids. The pages of ABCs of Science explore concepts from amoeba to zygote with as little or as much detail as you'd like depending on the age and attention span of your child. Focus on basic letters, words and bold illustrations, expand into a brief definition, or dig into a more in-depth exploration of each concept.
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC
Tracy Snyder Molina: This rhyming pirate-themed adventure makes for great fun to read aloud while searching for missing letters of the alphabet. If you have a young pirate-lover in your family, this is a fun change of pace for learning ABC's and my boys loved listening to me read it in my best pirate imitation.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Katie G.: This classic book follows the alphabet as they try to climb to the top of the coconut tree. The catchphrase "Chicka chicka boom boom! Will there be enough room?" is repeated throughout the book until "Oh, no!" all the letters fall off the tree. Find out if the injured and bruised letters make their way back up the tree. This book has been made into a catchy song that kids love to sing along to when reading.
Big Words for Little Geniuses
Kelly R.: This vocabulary-expanding alphabet book from Susan and James Patterson introduces big words that will challenge even the most capable reader, which is what makes it so fun as a read aloud. Kids will get a kick out of mom and dad reading through the alphabet from arachibutyrophobia to zoosemiotics (pronunciation is thankfully included!), with adorable illustrations throughout.
Once Upon an Alphabet
Sue Krawitz Tandoc: Famed author Oliver Jeffers created this witty book with mini stories about each letter of the alphabet. The book features his creative illustrations and dry humor with each story focusing on one specific letter of the alphabet, either by letter, sound or rhyme in a non-typical and fun fashion. This book is great for kids to read, and use their imagination and creative thoughts to add to the stories or think about how they can use letters and words to create stories. Elementary school age children will enjoy it, too!
The Alphabet From A to Y With Bonus Letter Z!
Kelly R.: This irreverent alphabet book from Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) presents 26 tongue-twisting alliterative couplets that will have kids and parents giggling over Henrietta the hare and yoga yetis. The intricate illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast bring the silly situations to life and weave in many, many more clever portrayals of each letter. There is so much to see here that you'll be discovering something new with each repeat reading.
A is for Astronaut
Sue Krawitz Tandoc: Former Astronaut Clayton Anderson wrote A is for Astronaut - a truly Awesome ABC book that will grow with your child. He details each letter of the alphabet with space and science themed words with short paragraphs and poems along with longer text for the older child who wants to learn more. It is ideal for children of all ages, especially those who love outer space and science.
A is for America
Sue Krawitz Tandoc: A is for America by Devin Scillian is a wonderful book to not only teach the alphabet, but to teach about America. Each letter is based on a unique part of the United States that older children will appreciate and younger kids will also learn from.Devin has written many other unique Alphabet books as well.
Dog's ABC: A Silly Story about the Alphabet
Sue Krawitz Tandoc: This is a sweet and simple book by Emma Dodd about the alphabet for preschoolers that my boys loved when they were little. It is the journey of Dog's day and his many funny actions with words that strengthen the letters of the alphabet for young children. The bright colorful illustrations will captivate a small child and keep them engaged as they discover all the things that Dog does.
H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet
Sue Krawitz Tandoc: This treasure written by Devin Scillian takes the alphabet to a new level. Each letter details important information and captivating illustrations about the armed forces in a kid-friendly manner that will not only teach the alphabet, but will help kids of all families appreciate all the hard work of service members and how they can help those serving the United States.
Eating the Alphabet
Sue Krawitz Tandoc: This colorful board book written by popular author Lois Ehlert provides numerous fruits and veggies in words and pictures for each letter of the alphabet. It reinforces each letter of the alphabet along with healthy and colorful food options that may encourage your child to try new foods, as well as learn the alphabet. As a bonus, fun facts about each food are provided at the end.
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