Thursday, January 6, 2011

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…

A very good place to start.
When you read you begin with ABC... 

And so, I wanted to share with you my current favorite ABC Book, Gyo Fujikawas's A to Z Picture Book. 

This ABC book has gorgeous, old-fashioned illustrations and lots of quirky images for each letter.   For A we see, among many, many other things, two children have an "argument," getting "angry" and then coming to an "agreement."  Turn the page and there is a double-page spread of a young girl in a marshy area "all alone."  Fujikawa alternates black-and-white illustrations with full-color ones.  (Could there have been a production reason for this?  Anybody out there know?)  For C we see a multitude of black-and-white illustrations, then turn the page to see another double-page color spread of a "city" (I'm guessing it's New York from the bridges and water towers).  I love that she picked a word that started with a soft C sound, rather than just sticking to the usual hard C words (cat, car and so on).  Thanks to the blog, Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves for introducing me to this author-illustrator.

The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Melissa Sweet is also very popular in this house.  None of the lower-case letters want to go to bed, although their upper-case moms and dads try their best to get them to do so.  Told in rhyme, there is also hidden in each picture at least one object that starts with the featured letter.  And on the nightstand of one of the letters is this very book, a find my kids delighted in!

Finally, an alphabet book for parents:  The ABCs of Rock by Melissa Duke Mooney illustrated by Print Mafia.  Each letter is associated with a rock band or star.  The illustrations, by Print Mafia, a duo who has designed actual rock posters, have a similar style throughout despite the variety of styles of the musicians.  Bust the book is still full of fun visuals.  I'm thinking this would provide a good variation on an alphabet game on long car rides, if anyone still plays those in this age of portable DVD players.

What are some of your favorite ABC books?


  1. Congratulations Rachel on publishing your first post! Was it a little scary pressing the publish button?

    A lovely selection of books. I don't know any of them. In We're going on a bear hunt (Michael Rosen/Helen Oxenbury) Rosen once said at an event I attended that the illustrations alternated between b&w and colour for a reason but frustratingly I can't quite remember what he said! Sg to do with real vs imagined events I think. So my guessing is that there was a real reason (ie other than publishing costs) for the alternation in Fujikawa's book.

  2. _Sleepy Little Alphabet_ is one of my 3-year-old's favorite bedtime books. I gave her a copy for Christmas 2009, and we've had to repair it a few times on account of it being, um, "overcherished".

    And _Alexander..._ is one of my very favorite books, so I got the reference right away. Have you read _Alexander and the Wonderful, Marvelous, Excellent, Terrific Ninety Days_? It's a memoir of the months Alexander and his family temporarily moved in with Viorst - I really liked it.

  3. I don't have a favorite ABC book, but my all-time favorite Gyo Fujikawa book is Babies. I loved it as a kid and the sweet illustrations of all kinds of babies doing all kinds of things are just as amazing today. A classic.

  4. I adore Melissa Sweet but I've never read this ABC book of hers.

  5. Beth, Yes, I DID read the Viorst memoir about adult Alexander & family moving in with his mom - it was great!

  6. Hi Rachel (again!), I couldn't figure out your email from your comment, so I thought I'd just pop back over. I'd love to have the info on the library even you mentioned. I don't think I'd be able to go, but maybe I'll be able to discover the books featured. Thanks, Erica
    storiedcities (at) gmail

    ps. I adore What Happens on Wednesdays. I believe the pictures are based out of Cobble Hill. I've already written a post which will appear next week.

  7. Welcome to blogworld! These books look great, and a favorite of mine is Q IS FOR DUCK by Mary Elting and Marcia McClintock Folsom, illustrated by June K. Kent. A.

  8. Wow Rachel! So many comments on your first post - great suff!

  9. My daughter's both love The Sleep Little Alphabet. I will have to look for the other two as well.

  10. Hi Rachel,
    I found you from the MotherReader 2011 Challenge. I too am a mother who blogs about books with her kids. I have been using my site as a social network to get more parents excited about having fun with reading. Hope you can stop by my blog as well.

    ~ Lauri Chandler

  11. Nice site, from a children author of Concord, Ca.