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ABC: a Child's First Alphabet Book Board book – June 2, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-An inventive and beautifully illustrated book. Each page features a scene highlighting one object (apple, balloon, cow, etc.), the corresponding upper- and lowercase letter, and a simple declarative sentence ("a is for apple"). Most of the items will be familiar to young listeners. Each featured object is surrounded by several smaller things that begin with the same letter, as well as a tiny image of the key item on the following page. Thus, young readers can play "I Spy" and reinforce their understanding of the letter and its sound. The pictures add another dimension, telling an underlying story, as a woman bids farewell to a man who embarks on a journey that leads him to exotic settings where he encounters many of the featured objects. This element of fantasy is sure to provide smiles of recognition and delight. The final picture brings everyone and everything together in a nontraditional zoo. As in Jay's Picture This- (Dutton, 2000), the illustrations are captivating. The watercolor washes are done over backgrounds that simulate crazed porcelain, lending an old-fashioned feel to the paintings. The colors are easy on the eye, and the scenes are filled with marvelous detail, a clear sense of movement, and more than a touch of whimsy. A list of the items included appears at the end. More extensive than Bruno Munari's ABC (1960; Chronicle, 2003), this is a sure bet for youngsters who like to participate actively while learning their letters.
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. Similar in look and concept to Jay's Picture This (2000), this imaginative alphabet book offers visual clues to track and a story to tease out in its beautiful paintings. Each picture focuses on one large item that corresponds to a letter in the alphabet, named below the picture. For "C is for cow," a cow with an elongated body arches across a sky spreading over a landscape dotted with other items having names beginning with the letter C (a car and a cat, for example), which show up again in later pictures. The woman driving the car appears in many pictures, as does a man, first seen in a hot-air balloon, who goes on a trip and corresponds with the woman. Older children will flip from page to page, finding the simple story, drawing connections, and naming the letter-related objects. Younger ones can simply enjoy the delightful paintings with their crackle-glazed folk art look and touches of humor, including a bespectacled giraffe trimming topiary, an owl wearing a pence nez, and other animals who appear together for the last letter and word, the inevitable "z is for zoo." Kathleen Odean
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 3 years
  • Board book: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers; unknown edition (June 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525475249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525475248
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book
I wasn't especially impressed when I first saw this book. A is for apple, B is for balloon, C is for cow, basic stuff. The only thing interesting was "X marks the spot" instead of "X is for X-ray or Xylophone".

Then I realized that I'd seen many of the creatures in Z is for zoo earlier in the book.

So I re-read it. Several re-reads later, I realized that there was a tentative story in this book. Do the women and the man love each other? They write letters. Hearts are a periodic motif. The woman paints, the man explores. Do they miss each other?

So maybe a toddler won't understand that. But this is an alphabet book they'll read past toddlerhood.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book for babies up to preschool. The pictures are simple at first, but the harder you look the more you see. My two year old enjoys shouting out everything she sees in the pictures. It is fun for us as parents to read as well. We try to find everything with that letter. It is kind of like a Where's Waldo for little ones.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
An absolutely excellent book. The illustrations are so well done and thought out. There are multiple items on each page that represent the letter. But, there are visual hints or foreshadowing for what's to come.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
My 2yo daughter loves this book. I noticed her interest in learning her ABC's and wanted to get her a book for the holidays, but the one I wanted was back ordered. I decided to go with this one and I am so glad I did. The illustrations are awesome. I love how each illustration shows multiple objects that start with the corresponding letter, not just the main image, so as she gets better with the letters we can start finding all the objects in the illustration that also start with the lettet on the page. Another cute, yet subtle addition is how the illustrations continue to make a story, like focusing on different parts of a scenery. For example the hot air balloon for the letter B shows up later in the background on another page. They did a really nice job with this book! Best part is, my daughter picked up the alphabet very quickly (within 2 weeks), and also started picking up on lower case letters (since the book shows both) even though I only focused on learning the upper case ones first. It is currently one of her favorite books.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
Not exactly what I had in mind. I bought this as a beginner book for an 18 month old. It would have been fine except the pictures were very stylized. At this age I think it more important for a child to see things as they are and not as an artist imagines. For example I knew it was supposed to be a dog but the child could not recognize it.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
WOW. Why don't more people know about this fantastic book??

First, you should know that I love books. And I've started to fall in love with buying my daughter great, beautiful, special books as well. Wandering around little book stores and finding gems for her is now a hobby. And this is my favorite!

Why?
1. The pictures are gorgeous. I've read this 100s of times and never get tired of the art. It's not a book with pictures for kids; it's more like a book with art that kids and adults will enjoy.
2. It's whimsical and surprising. There are little visual jokes in it. This makes it interesting to read 100 times, which your child will ask you to do.
3. It's smart- on each page there is hidden somewhere a picture of the word on the next page (so the A page has a small bit of the B (balloon) picture in it). This makes it fun and even a tiny bit challenging- SO welcome in toddler books!!
4. It helps teach the ABCs. That's always good.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I bought this book 3 years ago when my granddaughter was 6 months old. It was well used and becoming quite worn.
She was not keen on sharing with her now 6 month old sister. So, I purchased another. She now reads it to her sister with them both holding their own books.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I really enjoy reading this book with my son because I like looking through the pictures to find all of the things that start with each letter on the page. There are several little details in the pictures that match up with each letter (such as a convertible, cows, cabbages, and clouds on the C page). My son likes to point to everything in the pictures and I tell him what each thing is. This seems like it will be really great later when he is learning letter sounds. The art is really beautiful and I have bought several books from this author/illustrator because of that.
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