Children’s Book Giveaway: Alphabeasties.
September 21, 2010

This week’s book is another alphabet book.  I KNOW, I know, I’m sorry.  It’s just that my child is very interested in letters lately.

It’s probably my own damned fault for keeping foam letters and letter puzzles around in her playroom.  The playroom with the alphabet mat.  In hindsight, I probably lost the battle against alphabet books a year ago.

At any rate, Alphabeasties by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss, is thankfully one of the best alphabet books I’ve ever seen.  Each letter is assigned an animal (I is for Ibis, O is for Octopus, X is for Xenops) and each animal is illustrated by individual letters in a font meant to represent the character of that animal.  The hippopotamus, for example, is composed of stout H letters.  In addition, each letter also includes clever illustrations – a man’s moustache can be illustrated with two lowercase M letters, an owl with one large O letter, etc.

It is, I am hoping, the sort of alphabet book that will grow with my daughter.  Right now, she only appreciates the book for the animal illustrations.  Where I see a collection of P letters, she sees a row of waddling penguins (who say WOOF! WOOF!) and where I see an inconvenient book flap, she sees a unicorn rearing up like a horse.  My hope is that as she grows, she’ll begin to recognize the artistry and creative design behind the book as well.

Pros: This book is both clever and creative.  It introduces typefaces, graphic design, the concept of representation, and inventively illustrates a variety of animals.  Furthermore, it has flaps that children of all ages love to pull out to see the animal in motion (or simply much larger).  I have never seen another book quite like it.

Cons: There is no board book version.  This makes sense because the sheer number of flaps is prohibitive, but children Charlotte’s age really seem to love the book, so it’s a bit of a shame that there isn’t a more durable version.

Borrow or Buy: Buy.

What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail by creating an original letter and animal combination (i.e. B is for Bonobo).  You know, something that would make alphabet books in general a little more fun!  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Sunday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winners will be announced next Tuesday morning.  You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to six entries.

Reading tip of the week: Make your own book with images from your daily routine and of people in your child’s life.  You can include text or not, illustrations or photographs, anything you like.  Just make it fun – because chances are that you’ll be reading it ten billion times.  Also, building this book is an opportunity for you to make sure that you get out from behind the camera and end up in a couple pictures yourself.  Babies love to see their parents and themselves in homemade books!And what better way is there to reinforce vocabulary, narrative skills, and identification that is part of your daily world?

For extra entries: This is on the honor system, so please be honest.  I will award you one extra entry if you vote for me at Top Baby Blogs by clicking here.  Each day you vote, I will award you one additional entry.  I am hoping to reach a spot in the top ten on both sites so that we can slowly begin to reach more parents about the joys and importance of reading with children.

To purchase this book: You can buy Alphabeasties through Amazon.com (that link uses my affiliate code) or locate a local retailer through Indie Bound.org.

An announcement: The winner of last week’s book series giveaway is Lindsay.  Congratulations, Lindsay!


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  1. By on September 21, 2010

    A is for Alpaca!

  2. By on September 21, 2010

    Voted for you on TBB!

  3. By on September 21, 2010

    I LOVE alphabet books too :) I’m a teacher and I make them with my class every year- the kids love brainstorming for them! Alliteration can be fun!

    We made one about babies one year and my favourite page was one student’s who had D and wrote “Dads don’t do dirty diapers daily!“

  4. By on September 21, 2010

    I guess that wasn’t an animal.. oops!

    Q is for queen bee!

  5. By on September 21, 2010

    T is for triceratops! :)  This book is so clever and visually arresting.

  6. By on September 21, 2010

    Just clicked my vote for you on Top Baby Blogs.  Thanks!

  7. By Bethany on September 21, 2010

    “O” is for Okapi (antelope) and Olivia ;)

  8. By Bethany on September 21, 2010

    voted on top mommy!

  9. By Bethany on September 21, 2010

    voted on top baby!

  10. By on September 21, 2010

    W is for wombat!

    I voted for you on Top Baby Blogs (#17)!

    I also voted for you on Top Mommy Blogs (#34)!

  11. By on September 21, 2010

    Darling Book.  Voted on Top Baby Blogs!

  12. By Lauren on September 21, 2010

    P is for Peacock! <3 Lovely book, I would adore reading this to my two littles.

  13. By Michelle on September 21, 2010

    M is for Meerkat!

  14. By Michelle on September 21, 2010

    I voted for you on Top Mommy Blogs.  Will that count? (I can’t get Top Baby Blogs to load over here…)

  15. By Mailis on September 21, 2010

    C is for Capabera. :D This book looks absolutely wonderful, and Jude adores alphabet books.

    I voted for you on top baby blogs.

  16. By on September 21, 2010

    P is for Platypus!

  17. By on September 21, 2010

    L is for Lemur!

  18. By on September 21, 2010

    L is for Loch Ness Monster. :)

  19. By beyond on September 21, 2010

    w is for whale!

  20. By beyond on September 21, 2010

    and i just voted for you on both blogs…

  21. By beyond on September 21, 2010

    ...i meant to say i only voted on the one blog! (so used to writing the above comment!)

  22. By on September 21, 2010

    A is for Addax!  This animal holds a special place in my heart because we took our 20month old to the zoo and saw all sorts of animals (as people tend to do at a zoo).  Anyways, last week my sister was looking after our now 21 month old and he asked to see zoo pictures.  She started flipping through the photos and he was rattling off the animal names…camel, hippo, bara (Capybara), g’raf, yion (lion), zebra, then ADDAX! And excitedly shouted the name while simultaneously flooring my sister, the animal biologist.  Thus, the addax is a new favourite in our house.

    Voted for you at both sites.

  23. By Stephanie on September 21, 2010

    H is for hummingbird! There really ought to be more hummingbirds in alphabet books. They’re so charming.

    Coincidentally, I just started on a photo alphabet project with my girls. IIt began last week with “A is for Adelynn,“ who happens to be our newest member of the family and just born last week. And this week, we’ll do “B is for…“....big sisters!

  24. By Katelyn on September 21, 2010

    F is for feet

    A body parts book would be cool. Who knows, maybe there is one out there already.

  25. By on September 21, 2010

    B is for Badger!

    I love this book. At first I was like, okay, an alphabet book with animals. Cute. But then I saw the illustrations and I absolutely love it! The zebra is my favorite (I’m a big fan of the equine family).

  26. By Kacie on September 21, 2010

    G is for Gnat!

    Agh…It has been awhile since I visited your blog, and my oh my how she has grown!

  27. By on September 21, 2010

    N is for Narwhal!

  28. By Amber on September 21, 2010

    Y is for Yak!  Nate loves Yaks and when he “says” Yak it sounds like he’s clearing his throat. I love it!

  29. By on September 21, 2010

    L is for Lemur!  We took my little guy to the Philadelphia Zoo a few weeks back and he LOVED the lemurs.

    Voted for you at Top Baby Blogs

  30. By Molly on September 21, 2010

    M is for mamaliciousnessly!!!

    Yay!

  31. By on September 21, 2010

    Tersier is for T !

  32. By on September 21, 2010

    I love creative alphabet books!  M is for Mockingbird!

  33. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on September 22, 2010

    What a great book!  I just took Henry to the library for the first time yesterday and ended up coming home with 15 books!  He’s at the age (seven months) where other things are much more interesting than listening to me read, but I keep trying anyway.  :)

  34. By Lyndsey on September 22, 2010

    I’m not going to be creative but E is for Elephant my daughter Ella’s favorite animal

  35. By Megan on September 22, 2010

    This book looks good enough for me to want to win it, and a)save it for future children, b)keep it for myself, because I appreciate the alphabet too, or c) give it away

  36. By on September 22, 2010

    K is for Kingfisher

  37. By on September 22, 2010

    F is for Fennec Fox (so cute!)

  38. By on September 22, 2010

    P is for Pollywog!

  39. By on September 22, 2010

    —voted for you on TBB!

  40. By on September 22, 2010

    B is for Beaver in honor of the first wild beaver I saw this weekend down in the Grand Canyon.

  41. By Elle on September 22, 2010

    S is for Squirrel. My hubby has a love for them and has passed it on to our little girl. I just see them as cuter versions of R for Rats. :)

  42. By on September 22, 2010

    Z is for zebu!

  43. By Christy on September 22, 2010

    C is for canines.

  44. By on September 22, 2010

    O is for ox!

  45. By on September 22, 2010

    I just voted for you on the Top Baby Blogs site! thanks!

  46. By beyond on September 22, 2010

    T is for Tamarin!

  47. By beyond on September 22, 2010

    just voted on tbb!

  48. By on September 22, 2010

    One of our favorites here:
    K is for Kudu

    Also, voted for you on both. :)

  49. By on September 23, 2010

    I just voted on both blogs for you….and D is for Dumbo Octopuss - The octopuses of the genus Grimpoteuthis are sometimes nicknamed “Dumbo octopuses” from the ear-like fins protruding from the top of their “heads” (actually bodies), resembling the ears of Walt Disney’s flying elephant. They are benthic creatures, living at extreme depths, and are some of the rarest of the Octopoda species.

  50. By on September 23, 2010

    O is for Omnivoire

  51. By on September 23, 2010

    Voted for you on both blogs :)

  52. By on September 23, 2010

    M is for Manatee!  The sweetest, most lovely and peaceful animals of the sea!  Love them!  and your blog!  Voted on both sites.

  53. By on September 23, 2010

    W is for Warthog!

  54. By on September 23, 2010

    voted for you on TBB!

  55. By on September 24, 2010

    N is for Nabarlek!

  56. By on September 24, 2010

    Just voted for your blog, thanks!

  57. By on September 24, 2010

    B is for Barnacle!

  58. By on September 24, 2010

    voted for you on Top Baby Blogs!

  59. By on September 24, 2010

    S is for sloth!

    voted for you, thanks!

  60. By on September 24, 2010

    M is for Meerkat. My 16-month old daughter adores books. The first thing we do after I come back home from work is read books!

  61. By beyond on September 24, 2010

    just voted for you in tbb!

  62. By beyond on September 24, 2010

    A is for axolotl!

  63. By on September 25, 2010

    D is for diplodocus! :)

  64. By on September 25, 2010

    Voted for your blog, thanks!

  65. By on September 25, 2010

    W is for Wolverine

  66. By on September 25, 2010

    C is for Chameleon!

  67. By on September 25, 2010

    voted for you on Top Baby Blogs today!

  68. By on September 25, 2010

    A is for aye aye.
    Weird animal…ha!

    Voted for you Sarah, thanks a lot!

  69. By on September 26, 2010

    S is for saiga!

  70. By on September 26, 2010

    O is for oxygen!

  71. By on September 26, 2010

    Q is for Quetzal!

  72. By on September 26, 2010

    voted for you on Top Baby Blogs again today!

  73. By on September 27, 2010

    U is for Unicorn


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