Five fun ways to learn the alphabet.

By Amy and Justin Pounders
October 05, 2005

Alphabet picture books are a wonderful way to introduce children to letters and foster a love of reading. These new books spell F-U-N for little learners.

ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book

Text and Illustrations by Alison Jay

Accompany your child on an extraordinary alphabetical journey. Twenty-six beautifully illustrated objects and animals, rendered in a folk-art style, portray the letters of the alphabet. Little ones will enjoy looking with their parents for visual clues to what's coming (and what's already come) hidden in each picture -- a visual scavenger hunt that adds excitement to the learning process. Dutton Children's Books, ages 1 to 4, $15.99.

Alphabet Mystery

Text by Audrey Wood, Illustrations by Bruce Wood

Oh no, Little x has disappeared. Now, it's up to the rest of Charley's Alphabet to help find him. Join the remaining 25 lowercase letters as they search cities, towns, and fields for their missing friend. When he's finally found at Giant M's mysterious castle, Little x must figure out a way to save the day and prevent his friends from being turned into alphabet soup. Kids will delight in this fantasia of digitally enhanced illustrations and playful alliteration. Blue Sky Press/Scholastic, ages 3 and up, $15.95.

A Cow's Alfalfa-Bet

Text and Illustrations by Woody Jackson

Learning the ABC's has never been so udderly fun! From the creator of the famous Ben & Jerry's ice cream cows comes a charming look at life on a farm. Boldface words coupled with lavishly painted illustrations introduce kids to the alphabet while building their vocabulary. Children will learn about alfalfa, hay, tractors, zucchini -- and everything in between. Houghton Mifflin, ages 4 to 8, $15.

On Your Toes: A Ballet ABC

Text and Illustrations by Rachel Isadora

With breathtaking illustrations, Isadora takes kids on a behind-the-scenes alphabetic tour of the ballet. Budding ballerinas will learn the ABC's through ballet-specific terms including arabesque, développé, and en pointe; older children will enjoy the two-page glossary of dance terms at the end. Radiant with energy and alive with color, this picture book makes learning the alphabet as entertaining as real-life dancing. Greenwillow Books, ages 3 and up, $16.99.

Z Goes Home

Text and Illustrations by Jon Agee

After a long day's work at the City Zoo, it's time for Z to head home. Join this homeward-bound letter in its travels as it encounters 25 letter-shaped friends. Along the way, Z must pass an Alien, cross a Bridge, and eat through a Cake before dodging a Viper, climbing a Woodpile, and making some Xerox copies. Agee, author of the award-winning Milo's Hat Trick, combines entertaining illustrations and easy-to-read text for an adventure kids are sure to get a kick out of. Michael Di Capua Books, ages 4 to 8, $16.95

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