I think it’s fair to say that in four and a half years of parenting we have amassed quite a nice collection of alphabet books. We have alphabet books that are brilliantly funny, ones that are sweetly illustrated, and some time I must show you the gorgeously vintage Ladybird ABC that I found at a market once. They all have charms, they’re all loved, and the Ladybird one has lost its spine though much affection and so I couldn’t in all honesty say the latest addition to our library is the very very best, only joint top, but it is without a shadow of a doubt, the fattest.
The Alphablock is a board book and a half. Well possible several halves, it’s about as wide as four or five of our other books, but there’s a good reason for that. Contained in its pages is every letter of the alphabet from A is for Apple to Z is for Zoom (nice avoidance of the over used Zebra there), but every spread is preceded by a page containing a cut out of the capital letter, hiding the answer.
And I think it’s really really clever.
You see I can’t be the only one whose children when told of a result to their intended actions – “if you turn the tap on that hard you are going to get really really wet” – will still believe that I am making it up for my own entertainment and only truly assimilate that information by turning the tap on full and drenching themselves, siblings and mother to say nothing of the surrounding area. We see it time and time again, children (and adults too for that matter) learn best by doing, by touching and feeling and engaging all available senses, not just in hearing or seeing.
Looking at letters in an alphabet book is really great for little ones to build up a recognition of those letters and to make the association between the letter and the start of the sound of that particular object, and I’m not about to ditch all of my other alphabet books by any means, but being able to reach out and grab the letters, to stroke the curve of a C is for Cookies or poke your fingers into the hole in a P is for Pencil adds a tactile element to an already beautiful book for letter recognition alone.
Our Alphablock is nominally Pip’s, it was his book bought on a day out, but all three of them make a bee line for it and there’s been a degree of persuasion involved to return it to its original owner so that he may more fully enjoy chewing on it.
Although it is a board book it’s not wholly toddler proof, a few of our letters fold in unusual directions but it’s thick enough that I don’t think it’s going to fall apart.
Which if Pip’s expression is anything to go by, is a very good thing!
Last week the comment were full a flurry of lots and lots of lovely new books that I can’t wait to try out. Claire had been reviewing, The One O’Clock Miracle, a retelling of the story of Jesus healing the little boy that looks like exactly the sort of book I want for the girls’ library; so many Bible story retellings seem to have decided that retelling a bible story is enough, you don’t have to bother too much about writing it well and it’s lovely to see another to add to the list of really good books that are also Bible stories; the lovely Coco continued the feel of the Root Children books with a suggestion of Silver Bells and Cockle Shells, which looks absolutely wonderful and Sally used A House is a House for Me as the inspiration for the most gorgeous fabric Artist Trading Card. All in all in what definitely a week when my literary wish list grew ever longer – and that’s very much a good thing!
If you have read something lovely recently, please do put your link in the comments section and shout to the world – and we’ll all come and have a read! What We’re Reading is a weekly round up of posts about children’s books. That’s about as far as the ‘rules’ go; it can be picture books, baby books, books for older children or even young adult if you like; just come and join us to tell us what you’ve been reading recently. Or if you’d rather join in on Instagram or Twitter that would be wonderful too, just use the hashtag #whatweread and tag me (@cariemay on Instagram and @cariemaymakes on Twitter) and then we can all come and say hi.