Monday, September 8, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday: Alphabet learning books

Sleeping Bear Press has this great series of books that I have come to really love, each highlighting the learning of numbers and letters for children of a variety of ages. We have most at our library, all of which get checked out often, but there are several new ones that I have really enjoyed, Number 1 Teacher: A School Counting Book by Steven L. Layne and Deborah Dover Layne (illustrated by Doris Ettlinger), B is for Big Ben: An England Alphabet, written by Pamela Duncan Edwards (illustrated by Melanie Rose), A is for Abraham: A Jewish Family Alphabet, written by Richard Michelson (illustrated by Ron Mazellan), and H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet, written by Devin Scillian (illustrated by Victor Juhasz) are just a few of the wonderfully put together books in this huge series.

Each book has beautifully done illustrations, and includes a brief portion of rhyming text for the younger readers and sidebars of more intense, informative text for the older readers. For example, in Number 1 Teacher, for the number 60 we are given the following rhyme:

“60 shows us a popular treat with
sixty-four colors the set is complete

For bringing a picture or project to life

there’s nothing like crayons to do the job right.”

The sidebar includes information on how crayons are made and what their uses are.Very cool!

H is for Honor is definitely a must-have for my family, being that my husband is a member of the United States Air Force and has been deployed. The book describes different aspects of the military branches, as well as how families work with having a member in the military.

I love the series and can understand why the books are so well loved. Each is filled with educational material, but has enough rhyme and simple portions, that younger children can use them for enjoyment, while the older kids could use them for homework and reports.


Traci said...

Oh, I love those books, too. We have B is for Bookworm, D is for Democracy, and L is for Lobster.

Kristen DeDeyn Kirk said...


I love the way Number 1 Teacher could bring together children of different ages to read by combining easy and advanced explanations. I'm finding that mix rare in books and struggle when I want to read with my children, who are at very different reading levels. Thanks for the tip!

Kristen at