Tag Archives: ABC books

8 amazing ABC books + giveaway

These ABC books are stand outs, each with a special take on the alphabet in some significant way. Eight in all, here goes!



Daytime Visions 26196128by ISOL (2016).

ISOL brings the intuitiveness of children and the inventiveness of a true artist to this project, making the magic she always makes in my book.


Favorite letter: J. “I was just looking for you.” (But it’s hard to choose!).










ALPHA24727115 Isabelle Arsenault (2015).

An Alpha, Bravo Charlie ABC that explores the NATO alphabet and is mind-blowing in every way.



Favorite letter: Foxtrot.







23129944Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl (2015).


Radical ladies indeed, all the way from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston. This one will teach and inspire the older set.



Favorite letter: X.” …the women whose names we don’t know.” (That spread made me weep the first time I read it.)





3095038ABC3D by Marion Bataille (2009).

A pop-up ABC for the design or paper engineering crowd.



Favorite letters: I and J because of how they cleverly share a dot. 






4450223A Child’s Day: An Alphabet of Play by Ida Pearle (2008)

An ode to childhood carefree moments, the artwork in Pearle’s ABC enchants.



Favorite letter : V for view because of that kaleidoscope!





18167208Eerie Dearies by Rebecca Chaperon (2014).


An alphabet book of mysterious, strange, and sometimes mystical reasons for missing school. 26 of them.



Favorite letters: E for ennui and W for waterlogged.





ABC_CoverAwake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Gracia Lam (2015).


A wordplay take on ABC, true to AKR’s trademark. A series of A-B-C phrases follows  two children’s days with dreamy pastel retro artwork.



Favorite ABC phrase: “Always be curious.”





18209535Adventures with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White (2014).

A seasonal celebration of being outdoors (or adventuring indoors) all year long and being with friends. Plus, the most darling critters to ever grace a picture book.



Favorite letter: N. “But we take nice long naps in the grass once it’s dry.”




And, thanks to Penguin Random House Canada, I’m giving away the Barefoot Critters ABC and counting book pair by Teagan White, pictured below! One is wintry, the other summery. One alphabet, one numbers. All with adorable critters—a perfect set!



Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win Adventures with Barefoot Critters & Counting with Barefoot Critters!

(Enter until July 15th at midnight PST; open to North America only.)


abc, three alphabet books

Alphabet books are sort of utilitarian in function: teaching the ABCs, but many are standouts of art, design, storytelling, and other loveliness to boot. I give you these three favorites in chronological order, but please add your picks to the comments!


A B C, 1 2 3:



Bruno Munari’s ABC (1960/ reissued by Chronicle in 2006).


I like the bold, modern design, the big block capital letters, and how each letter often gets more than one corresponding object.








brunomunari-ABC Like how the juggler has lost one dot?

And see that little fly buzzing toward the pink ice cream? It appears throughout the book and plays a crucial role in the very last letter of the alphabet too.

brunomunari_ABC-L I especially like the spread for the letter L (for a Long Leafa Leafa Little Leaf, and a Lemon.)






A Farmer’s Alphabet by Mary Azarian (1981).


I like the gorgeously stark black and white woodcuts all about life on a Vermont farm. Apple, Barn, Icicles, Kite, Neighbor, Yawn. Time may advance, but some things stay the same. Like the alphabet. Like daily surroundings and tasks.




afarmer'salphabet-horseMy poor pictures don’t do these prints justice.




misformusicM is for Music by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Stacy Innerst (2003).


This is one of the first picture books I bought, and it was pretty much purely for the artwork. At first. But there’s more.




m-is-for-musicThis spread! Klezmer! The girl’s giant open mouth! The way you can see the paint on the page!



I like the way it covers more than just names of instruments, but styles of music, bits of lyrics, and even diverse greats like Armstrong, Elvis, Mozart, and the Beatles (with a nice nod to music teachers at the letter M too!).




There’s so much beauty and whimsy in this book, in all these books, that expresses even more than  ABCs.