School has begun and we are hard at work learning letters and numbers right now. What better time than to bring out my stash of alphabet books and read them?
Last week, I pulled out Alphabet Adventure, Alphabet Mystery, and Alphabet Rescue–all by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Bruce Wood. I must say that my classes every year adore these stories, and since I refuse to read more than one a day, they wait anxiously for the next. Nor do they complain when I make them listen to one of them again at my listening center.
They. Love. These. Books.
Now part of their love is definitely for the bright illustrations. But most of the love is for the characterization of letters and their ability to hop on a pencil in alphabetical order and go zooming off.
The problems they encounter in each tale touch on things they can identify with: Little i loses her dot and has to find it with the help of Capital I and all the other little letters; Little x runs away because he doesn’t feel appreciated; and the little letters must save the day after the capital letters have told them they’re too little to help them on their fire engine. I think my favorite illustration in that story is the image of the word CAT stuck in a tree.
If I have any quibble at all, it’s that when Little x runs away, he ends up playing a xylophone for Capital M in a castle and the other little letters are threatened to be put into soup. (You should hear the gasp from my class at that point.) Capital M’s change of heart was too quick and unbelievable for me. My kinders, however, did not care in the slightest.
All of these are re-readable, and based on my requests, not forgotten. I finally added a few copies to my classroom library last year, and they were regularly checked out with a long line of kids hoping to get one on a bounce back. I really hope that more titles end up in this series.
Definitely a worthwhile purchase to a library, whether personal or classroom, but be prepared for them to be loved to death, and that you may very well memorize the books.