Children’s Book Giveaway: Charley Harper’s ABC’s and 123’s.
June 15, 2010

The books I am featuring this week are Charley Harper books.  We all have crushes on Charley Harper’s artwork, right?  RIGHT?!

Here’s the thing: there isn’t much to say about either of them.  One of the books is an alphabet book and the other is a counting book.  And all of us can both recite our alphabet and count to ten.  Or I hope we can.

The reason I am featuring them, then, is this: my daughter cannot get enough of the alphabet book.

We have other alphabet books, but Charley Harper’s work is nature-centric and it turns out that nature is what most intrigues Charlotte.  She loves the colors in the books, loves tracing her fingers along the geometric shapes in the illustrations, loves that she gets kisses every time we see a momma-baby animal pair.  She loves the lilt as I count birds with her, loves that I can count her toes AND read her a book at the same time, loves that if we sing the alphabet song she can flip the pages at the speed of light.

Since there is no plot, there is no pro/con section to this review; the books are both straight-up awesome, though.  Easily the most lovely alphabet and counting books I’ve seen in awhile.

Borrow or Buy: Buy.

Have you considered… volunteering with your local literacy advocacy organization (such as Reach Out and Read) or with your local library?  We parents may not always have oodles of free time, but a tiny investment can go a long way.  Recently, Charlotte and I have been talking to local doctor’s offices about giving books at pediatric appointments to at-risk children.  We do not have much time – only an hour here and an hour there – but sometimes that’s all it takes to make a small difference in a child’s life.

About the publisher: Ammo Books publishes unique, artistic books.  Their children’s titles are all brilliant (they publish an incredible Todd Oldham title, Kid Made Modern, that is filled with creative activities perfect for older children) and I love their sense of style.  All of their books are also quite high-quality, which is a plus, seeing as babies and destruction seem to go hand-in-hand.  In addition, the individuals who work at Ammo are fantastically kind and helpful.  You can find Ammo Books on Twitter by clicking here and on Facebook by clicking here.

What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail answering this question: what sort of children’s art do you like?  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Thursday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winners will be announced Friday morning.  You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to three entries.

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 Mommy Blogs by clicking here or at Top Baby Blogs by clicking here.  Each day you vote, I will award you two additional entries.  Don’t forget to let me know!  I am hoping to maintain or move into 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.  If we inspire just ONE parent to read to their kid today, it’s worth a vote or two, don’t you think?

To purchase this book: You can buy Charley Harper’s ABCs through Amazon.com by clicking here or Charley Harper’s 123’s through Amazon.com by clicking here (both links use my affiliate code) or locate a local retailer through Indie Bound.org.


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  1. By Kate Betancourt on June 15, 2010

    These books look great!  My boy is 16 months and has almost half of his phonetic sounds down.  We are working on letters like crazy!

  2. By on June 15, 2010

    I love artwork like Harper’s or even Eric Carle.  I recently found these great alphabet/animal cards by Lisa Dejohn.  Worth googling.  They’re beautiful. 

    Count me in for a vote for both Top Mommy & Baby blogs!

  3. By Kimberly O'Rosky on June 15, 2010

    Never heard of this author, but I already LOVE the artwork. I’ll definitely be looking them up.

  4. By on June 15, 2010

    Charlotte is really starting to look like Donald, isn’t she?

  5. By on June 15, 2010

    Please don’t count this, I vote and whatnot but I already have my book so I’d feel bad if I won again :) I had never heard of this man before but *love* the illustrations!

    I just wanted to say that I just saw your error page for the first time and it made me laugh out loud. That is a fabulous picture of your husband!

  6. By on June 15, 2010

    I love big, bold colors with very defined drawings, preferably of animals or of activities the kids can relate to.  Mostly because this is what I have come to realize holds their attention for more than one nano-second.

  7. By on June 15, 2010

    I love anything with fun, bright colors. It grasps Nias attention. She is quite the animal lover too… So anything with animals maes her ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’. Literally. Not sure where she picked that up from but it sure is cute!

  8. By Mailis on June 15, 2010

    I love anything whimsical…colorful and though provoking. Jude favors splashes of color, and quite enjoys there books from Dwell Studio:

    http://www.dwellstudio.com/designer-baby-boutique/books.html

    Divine. :)

    I voted for you on both, by the way. These books look stellar, and right up Jude’s alley.

  9. By gretchen from lifenut on June 15, 2010

    CHARLEY HARPER! Swoontastic!

    What kind of children’s art do I like. I’ll start with him. I have a set of Charley Harper memory card games. This is how pathetic and selfish I am with his art: I won’t let the kids play with it. They can play with our other memory games. Not this one.

  10. By Bethany on June 15, 2010

    Olivia can not get enough of big, bold and colorful books. Michael Hall’s book “My Heart is Like A Zoo” is a perfect example of this!

    We also love reading books with baby’s faces as pictures. We both get on giggle fits with these types of books.

  11. By on June 15, 2010

    Love those!  Love him!  And voting done on both definitely!

  12. By Jill on June 15, 2010

    I love the bold colors of Margaret Wise Brown’s book Goodnight Moon, and all of the details in the illustrations.  Although based on this post, I could easily be a Charley Harper convert!

  13. By on June 15, 2010

    My children prefer big bold colors and shapes.

  14. By Jessika on June 15, 2010

    I just wanted to drop a note to say: Charlotte is gorgeous. You are so in your right mind to be such a proud mama. Please make more.

  15. By Jill on June 15, 2010

    I voted!  You were down to #14, so I’ll have to vote again tomorrow!

  16. By on June 15, 2010

    I love Mary Engelbreit. She has some awesome posters and artwork for kids and teachers. My favourite quote of hers: “A book is a present you can open again and again.“

  17. By Mallory on June 15, 2010

    I definitely like bright and bold colors.  Des seems to be drawn to the same, and really likes animals.

  18. By beyond on June 15, 2010

    i love bold colors and styalized drawings. and i love the retro look of this abc 123 book!

  19. By beyond on June 15, 2010

    just back from voting for you on top baby blogs!

  20. By Lise on June 15, 2010

    Reading rocks my world so I am thrilled to have found your site! (you also dropped a little comment on my blog. cheers!).

    These books are on my ‘buy now, be-yatch’ list, if I don’t win the comp. I am looking for new books for my sticky baby, who needs to expand his reading horizons a little. Mild obsession with 2 books in particular…

    He loves ‘That’s not my robot’, a fantastic little touch-and-feel board book. Lots of bright colours and big, bold pictures.

    Voting for you for both mommy and baby links.

    Please visit us more often on http://www.stickybabychronicles.blogspot.com

    Peace out!

  21. By on June 16, 2010

    Oh Jill! (#12) I was skimming down through the comments and was momentarily bewildered that someone had written a childrens book called ‘Goodnight Moron’ !!!!  Time to slow down and read properly methinks! :)
    And the comment I was hurrying down here to make was this: Oh my, that sweet baby has fabulously long legs. Chubby and gorgeous and kissable and looooong.  She’s adorable.

  22. By Jill on June 16, 2010

    Mouse - I think you could write an excellent satire titled Goodnight Moron, but probably not one for kids…

    Second entry.

  23. By Jill on June 16, 2010

    Voted again!

  24. By *emilie* on June 16, 2010

    what a sweetypie !
    i love books with timeless art, and more pastel or faded colors..

  25. By Mailis on June 16, 2010

    I voted on both (and you are now #5 on top baby blogs. Yay!)

    Forgot to mention that I love Richard Scarry as well…such intricate illustrations. Fun for adult and child, alike.

  26. By on June 16, 2010

    I voted on both—yesterday and today but forgot to say I did it yesterday :-)

  27. By ashley on June 16, 2010

    ohh… it’s so hard to choose just one style of children’s art!  my sister is a children’s book illustrator and i love her pen and watercolor illustrations. i also LOVE collages with different media like torn paper mixed with buttons, fabric, paint, etc.  some of my favorite books as a kid were acrylic paints - i think, such super rich, saturated colors.  and your book this week looks gorgeous!!  pick us, pick us :-)

  28. By ashley on June 16, 2010

    i voted for you on top mama blogs today!

  29. By ashley on June 16, 2010

    i also voted for you on top baby blogs today!

  30. By Mailis on June 17, 2010

    Voted again today. :) I have decided that if I don’t win one of these books, I will be purchasing them. So, it’s win-win.

    Jude loves a book called Feely Bugs by David. A. Carter. There are lacy bugs made of lace, and crinkly bugs made of crinkly stuff. Sticky, leathery, and fuzzy bugs. It’s so cute, and the illustrations are simple but wonderful.

  31. By on June 17, 2010

    These books look fabulous! So it your blog!  We enjoy Eric Carle and Gyo Fujikawa for childrens literature picks.  Cast 2 best blog votes for you today as well :)

  32. By ashley on June 17, 2010

    i voted for you again today on top mama blogs!

  33. By ashley on June 17, 2010

    i also voted for you today on top baby blogs. Edie has just in the past month (10 months old) started picking up books and opening them to turn the pages :-) :-)  of course just as often she chews on them and just throws them around, but i think she’s finally starting to understand that there’s a lot to see in them if she turns the pages!  i can’t wait until she starts “reading” to her self in little babbles.  SO cute!

  34. By Jill on June 17, 2010

    Final entry.  Just added some Charley Harper prints to my gift registry, too!

  35. By Jill on June 17, 2010

    Voted on both sites, too!

  36. By Ooty on July 15, 2010

    Great job.Nice pictures.The baby is so beautiful…..kattima

  37. By Taryn on February 21, 2012

    my favourite type of children’s art is what my Charlotte finds most interesting: the kind that appears simple on the surface, but is actually more intricate once you look deeper. My fave for this are How Big is a Pig.
    btw voted!


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