Astonishing, Beautiful and Clever:
Alphabet Books for First Grade

First Grade ABC

If you think alphabet books are for toddlers, you haven't seen the new breed of sophisticated and creative ABC books! Gorgeous art, scientific facts, advanced vocabulary...the ABC framework is a perfect way to introduce almost any favorite topic.

Does your child love superheroes? There's an ABC book on superheroes. Like butterflies? Big cities? Beetles? You would be amazed how many topics have been covered in alphabet books.

The ABC books I like best are clever, or artsy, or they surprise you and give you things to talk about. These books do more than just build vocabulary; they tantalize the imagination! Here are some great ones to get you started.

Q is for Duck
  • Q Is For Duck by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom.
    A is for Zoo. Why? Because animals live in the zoo! This quirky book is full of letter riddles for first graders, and the illustrations are clear and crisp. The cartoony text is simple enough for beginning readers, too.
  • Alphabet City
  • Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson.
    Someone took the time to walk around in a city and find letters hidden in things like construction equipment and fire escapes. It may get you and your first graders looking at your surroundings in a whole new way!
  • Superhero ABC
  • Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod.
    It looks like a vintage comic book, but with an alphabetical twist! The bright colors pull kids in, and they just have to read every page.
  • The Butterfly Alphabet by Kjell Bloch Sandved.
    This butterfly book is beyond beautiful. Who would Butterfly Alphabet guess that in the patterns of a butterfly's wing, you could find every letter from A to Z? These close-up shots of real butterflies are simply amazing.
  • Alphabad by Shannon Stewart.
    Dubbed "mischievous ABCs" by the author, this Alphabad book is just plain naughty. "B" is for booby trap--gum on the floor, stuck to the babysitter's shoe! Do we really have to be good ALL of the time?
  • The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg.
    Grainy black and white pictures show The Z Was Zapped A in an avalanche, B being badly bitten, and so on. Kids get to guess what is happening on the picture page--the descriptive text comes later. A great way to introduce first graders to new vocabulary.
  • The Beetle Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallota.
    What, you don't think beetles The Beetle Alphabet Book are interesting enough for an alphabet book? Wait till you hear about a beetle as big as a kid's hand, or one that defends itself by passing gas, or one that eats poop. Kids love it!

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“Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself. ”
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