7 Awesome Alphabet Books

There are many more alphabet books in the world than the world needs. Here is a list of seven alphabet books that truly stand out. All seven have fantastic illustrations and creative and successfully executed concepts.

Creature by Andrew Zuckerman. Many of the spreads in this alphabet book include a picture of an animal body part and the first letter of the animal’s name on one page and a picture of the entire animal on the following page. My kids love guessing which animal they will see next. I love the phenomenal photographs. Ages 2+

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert. A great book for introducing kids to new fruits and vegetables as well as to the sounds each letter of the alphabet makes. Each page of Eating the Alphabet has lovely, colorful illustrations of familiar and unfamiliar fruits and vegetables. Ages 1+

The Human Alphabet by Pilobolus, photographs by John Kane. A tour de force by the modern dance troupe Pilobolus. For each letter, Pilobolus dancers use their bodies to form the letter and something that begins with the letter. My kids enjoy guessing what the dancers are making with their bodies. Ages 4+

Alphabet City by Stephen Johnson. Author and illustrator Stephen Johnson has compiled an amazing series of paintings of letters he observed in everyday objects around New York City. Since reading Alphabet City, my five-year-old son has been finding letters in tree branches, deck posts, sidewalk cracks, and more. Ages 3+

Antler, Bear, Canoe: A Northwoods Alphabet Year by Betsy Bowen. With cozy woodcut illustrations, Antler, Bear, Canoe celebrates life in Northern Minnesota. Rather than offering a series of twenty-six disconnected facts, as many alphabet books do, this alphabet book keeps readers engaged by describing the changing of the seasons in the Northwoods. Ages 3+

Puddle’s ABCs by Holly Hobbie. Puddle’s ABCs has silly pictures for each letter of the alphabet (e.g. Bb Ballerina blowing bubbles). In addition, Puddle’s ABCs includes a story in which Holly Hobbie’s adorable character Puddle teaches his friend Otto the letters of the alphabet and how to write his name. This story conveys the excitement of learning to read and write and encourages children to begin looking more closely at words. Ages 3+

Aardvarks, Disembark! by Ann Jonas. This last alphabet book is challenging to read because it includes the names of a number of unfamiliar animals. Never-the-less, Aardvarks, Disembark! makes the list because the book’s illustrations and concept are so dang cool. Aardvarks, Disembark! tells the story of Noah’s Ark and depicts twenty-six animals that lived at the time of the story of Noah. At the end of the book, author Ann Jonas provides a little information about each animal and notes which species are endangered or extinct. Ages 5+

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15 Responses to 7 Awesome Alphabet Books

  1. ella says:

    wow Andrew Zuckerman’s photography is jaw droppingly brilliant!!!!!

      • Rejaul says:

        Thank you for the kind comments For photo first words try Dorling Kindersley or Priddy books (I’m hiopng to stock them one day!). I think photo ones tend to date quicker which might be why some publishers shy away from them Also a lot of them I’ve seen historically have used American images so don’t have British looking fire engines, police cars etc which bugs me!

  2. I love Gyo Fujikawa’s A to Z picture book, Paul Thurlby’s alphabet, which even works for older kids, The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra and Melissa Sweet and Alison Murray’s Apple Pie ABC. We also love Alphabet City and the art of Charley Harper. Btw, it was nice meeting you at Kidlit Con!

  3. Amy Rhodes says:

    What a fantastic blog! so many books to look at. I really want to start looking more at factual books with my daughter . This will be a great resource thankyou. I have just been given the Jane Belk Moncure A-Z set which are lovely.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks for your nice comment, Amy. You can tell from this blog that I take great pleasure in discovering great children’s books that both inform and entertain.

  4. Erinn L says:

    As a lover of art, you will really enjoy “Animalia” by: Graeme Base. It’s one of those grow with you books. Love this blog you’re doing, by the way. I’m a bit of a children’s book fanatic myself. Also so fun seeing your kiddos.

  5. Sarah H says:

    One that we read recently that I like is Compost Stew, because it incorporates alphabet, changing of the seasons, and gives instructions on how to make compost.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks! I’ll have to check this one out. We love compost.

    • Chelsea says:

      Everything as is should be and that would be a great table for me too apart from the cat that would have be sienzneg my barley tea over the photo book and alphabet board , mopping it up with tissues and tumble drying the letters.Thanks for the glimpse iside you life though. Hope it is treating you well.Damon

  6. Molly says:

    Charley Harper ABC is also fun, with nice artistic pictures.

    • Amy says:

      I like Charley Harper’s illustrations too! His ABC book probably would have made the list if I had included 10 alphabet books, but I like to stop adding books to my booklists when I feel an equal amount of adoration for the books on the list.

  7. Molly says:

    Our kids also loved Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. Our oldest child also insisted on Dr. Suess’ ABC book read to him over and over again.

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