Small children are learning all the time – they are discovering the world around them, who is in their family and what the different bits of their own body are for. They are also learning about language and communication and picture books are a great way to help with this.
Our selection of books this month are all about the alphabet – the building blocks of our written language. As young children gradually learn the letters you can ask them to spot them when you are out and about. Choose the letters they know well and ask if they can see them in street signs, when you are shopping or visiting the library. Help them learn which letters are in their own names, but make it fun. Laughter is a great aid to learning.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s abc – Eric Carle
Help your child explore the amazing animal alphabet in this delightful board book. Featuring Eric Carle’s bright, distinctive artwork, you will meet lots of favourite animals, big and small.
An Animal A B C – Alice Pattullo
Another book featuring animals, but suitable for the whole family to share. Each double page spread has a letter with an appropriately named and illustrated animal, but also includes interesting facts about the different creatures. For example, did you know a group of crabs is called a ‘cast’? Me neither!
First Signing ABC – Sam Williams & Kathy Robinson
This book is a little bit different. It teaches youngsters the finger-spelling alphabet. Alongside each signed letter of the alphabet is a picture and an illustration of the British Sign Language sign for that image. Great if you have deaf people in your family or if there is a deaf child at playgroup or school.
Quentin Blake’s ABC – Quentin Blake
As might be expected from Quentin Blake, there are some unusual items in this beautifully illustrated alphabet book. The gentle rhyming structure makes it an easy read for younger children.
Alphabet Fun: Making Letters with your Body – Isabel Thomas
Another unusual alphabet book – this one combines literacy and physical development. Works best if you have more than one child to join in.
Big Digger abc – Margaret Mayo & Alex Ayliffe
Despite the title, this is not just about construction machinery. All sorts of different forms of transport are represented in this alphabet book, from Fire Engine to Velodrome Track Bike. You can have great fun trying to work out what sort of vehicle will come next.
A First Book of the Alphabet – Chez Picthall & Margaret Hynes
This alphabet book goes into more depth than most of the others. There are several words for each letter and also some questions to be answered. A good book for adult and slightly older child to work through together.
Astonishing Animal ABC – Charles Fuge
I love this book. Prepare to meet a cosy cobra, curled up in a comfy chair and a jolly jackal and his jelly-jumping mice. Nice rhythms and rhymes, but you may not be able to stick to them because you’ll be laughing at all the silliness on the page.
Christmas ABC – Jannie Ho
I was only going to show eight books but then I saw this and, as it is the first of December, I had to include it.