Essential to every young child’s library are books that introduce the most fundamental elements of learning. There is a vast array of titles available that center on the alphabet and basic counting concepts. Here are a few selections that the young learner in your life will want to read over and over.
Creature by Andrew Zuckerman is a stunning collection of animal photographs—one for each letter of the alphabet. While the portraits themselves are reason enough to pick up this book, its organization is ideal for young readers to easily digest the ABC’s.
The first page shows a bold-faced, uppercase “A” and lowercase “a” next to a close-up of an alligator’s foot. Turn the page and you see the whole alligator next to the word “alligator.” The book follows this pattern. As a bonus, there is a glossary that offers interesting facts about each creature featured.
Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss is a classic must-have. It begins, “Big A … little a … What begins with A?” and features the familiar Dr. Seuss characters and fanciful words throughout. The audio version is also a worthwhile purchase.
In a recent recording, actor Jason Alexander theatrically reads through each letter, enjoyably and meticulously pronouncing every word. “Dr. Seuss’s ABC” is available in board-book format, but it is a condensed version of the original and will not follow exactly with the audio version.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault injects rhythm into the alphabet. The audio version is a must-have. This book utilizes a catchy tune to guide its audience through the ABC’s. Children enjoy the song and love to sing out “chicka chicka boom boom!”
Look & See: Let's Count! by La Coccinella invites little fingers to point to and count interesting animals using holes in the illustrations. Working from “one shiny green frog” up to “ten busy bees,” each animal is featured with a well-written poem beside it. The illustrations are simple, and children get the added benefit of learning through touching the holes as well as reading the numbers.
Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Tina Freeman is a fun read-aloud story featuring precocious monkeys that, despite doctor’s orders, keep falling off the bed and bumping their heads. In the familiar rhyme, we start out with 10 monkeys and, as they fall one by one, wind up with none—a great lesson in counting and subtraction. Silly illustrations and a memorable rhythm will keep kids reaching for this one often.