It’s been a while since I’ve done a Stack Overflow column, which is why my stacks are overflowing even more. I’ve just sorted through a huge pile of picture books with my kids (some of them, I admit, have been on the shelf since last summer), so I’ll do a couple of posts about some of our favorites.
Today I’ve got a few books about ABCs and 123s. Now, my two older daughters are past the stage where they need alphabet books, but some books are just fun enough that you want to keep them around. Plus, my one-year-old needs to start working on reading soon, right?
A Is for Awesome by Dallas Clayton
Dallas Clayton is basically a big happy kid. He writes and draws things that are meant to be encouraging and cheerful, and it’s always fun to see what he’s up to next. A Is for Awesome has a page for each letter of the alphabet, with a poem filled with words like “awesome” and “imagine” and “oh boy.” Each page is also covered with various little doodles of things that start with that letter. Lots of fun, whether you’re just learning your letters or have a string of letters after your name.
Professor Whiskerton Presents Steampunk ABC by Lisa Falkenstern
Did you know there are several steampunk alphabet books? I suppose if you’re into steampunk, you probably did. I’m not a huge steampunk fan, but Lisa Falkenstern’s ABC book is pretty cute. My kids liked the Victorian mice demonstrating things like “P is for periscope” and “Z is for zeppelin.” The illustrations combine the letters themselves with the things they stand for. Great for the budding steampunk fan.
None the Number by Oliver Jeffers
Oliver Jeffers has written and illustrated a slew of books, including a series of books starring the Hueys, little ovoid people having various adventures. None the Number is a counting adventure. Two Hueys have a conversation about “None,” which leads to counting to ten, and then back to none again. There’s a small section in the endpapers that addresses the question “Is none a number?” more seriously, explaining the history and significance of 0. But even if your kid is just reading the picture book part, they’re getting exposed to the idea that counting doesn’t always start at 1, which is kind of cool.
Star Wars Workbooks from Workman Publishing
Learn something, you will! Workman Publishing, creators of Brain Quest, has a whole series of Star Wars workbooks focusing on reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, from preschool through 2nd grade. The workbooks look like other educational workbooks—the dotted lines for writing out words, activity mazes or coloring exercises, fill in the blank sentences, and so on. (Answers in the back, naturally.) But the twist is that instead of reading about Dick and Jane, you get Darth Sidious and Jango Fett. The books align with common core standards—so you may or may not appreciate that—but if your kids love Star Wars and need a little summer practice, these workbooks could be a fun way to brush up on skills.
Disclosure: GeekDad received review copies of the books listed here.