By Oliver Jeffers
In this gorgeous book from the illustrator of the best-seller The Day the Crayons Quit, each letter gets its own short story. Don't sweat how thick it is -- focus on a letter or two a day.
By Xavier Deneux
This tactile book ingeniously uses raised circles (as tires, grapes, tails, and a giraffe's spots, for instance) to help kids understand what the corresponding number means.
Before your child starts to tackle lifelong reading skills, here's what you should know about books and language development.
By Christopher Franceschelli
If your kid knows his numbers but needs practice writing them, this is the book for you: Die-cut pages (of 1-10 and 20-100, by tens) allow your child to feel the shape of the numbers, a key to learning how to form them.
By Adam F. Watkins
From "jolt" to "clang," "hiss" to "Grrrr," loud sounds (and cute robots) help kids learn their letters. "The pages are bright, and the illustration conveys a lot of action," adds Joel Nichols, a children's librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
By Katie Viggers
The fun illustrations in this book match silly rhymes (like five goats wearing coats and nine cats in matching hats). "Kids giggle when we read this at the library," says Ginny Collier, a children's librarian in Atlanta.
By Sarah Powell
Fingerprints help form the illustrations in this clever book that helps kids count to ten. Favorite spread: nine chirpy chicks.
By Cecil Brasher and Jim Medway
When an alphabet book starts with zebra, a skunk smells so nice, and an elephant is dainty, you know you're in for a zany read. Kid reviewers were so busy pointing out what was "wrong" with this book that they didn't even realize that they were learning their letters at the same time.
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