Fun With ABC Books
by Nancy Polette
1999 Nancy Polette

Return to list of literature guides
1. ACTION ALPHABET by Marty Neumeier. Greenwillow

A. How many words can you list that are associated with the way this letter is illustrated?
B. Design a computer letter for associative word games.

2. ALBERT B. CUB AND ZEBRA by Ann Rockwell. Crowell

On the A page Albert's friend zebra has been abducted. To find him Albert travels in an airplane and an automobile passing an accountant's sign, an Airedale and a little girl crying in anguish. How many other A words can you find?
Activity: Assign a different letter to teams of four.Each team has one day to list all the words they can find in Albert B. Cub and Zebra that begin with that letter. At the end of a week the team with the most words is the winning team
challenge teams to see which can write the longest alliterative sentence using words from one of the letter pages. Other words can be added as needed.

3. POTLUCK by Anne Shelby. Dial
Each child is bringing one or more foods to a feast. The food and the way they bring the food (action verb) both begin with the first letter of the child's name. "Christine came with carrot cake and corn on the cob."
Activity: What food(s) would each child in the class bring? How would the food be transported?
Follow the pattern: Jean juggled jello and jelly beans.
4. ALLISON'S ZINNIA by Anita Lobel. Harper
A fun book to use in a plant unit. "Beryl bought begonias for Crystal. Dawn dug daffodils for Emily."
Activity: Study the pattern and write a similar sentence that begins with YOUR name.Try the same idea in a different setting.
Example: What things would be found in a school setting?
"Pauline purchased a pencil for Quentin."
What items other than foods could be found in a super market?
"Sam sold soap." "Greta gave greeting cards."

5. ABC MYSTERY by Doug Cushman. Harper
"A is the art that was stolen at night. B is the ________ who creeps out of sight. C is the ______that was left in the room. D is _______________Inspector McGroom.
Solve the mystery of the missing art by following the alphabet to Z.
Activity: Try writing an ABC advice book for students coming into your class next year. Brainstorm the information a new student might need.
Example: A (what are our favorite activities?) B. (what fun books will we read?) C (what do we do to show we care for others?)

6. THE HOLE BY THE APPLE TREE by Nancy Polette. Greenwillow
An ABC fairy tale adventure where Harold and his friends meet monsters in moats, question a queen and try to save Snow White.
Activity: Brainstorm all the fairy tale characters you can that begin with each letter of the alphabet. See how many you can find in this book. Locate some of the tales in the school library and share them with the class. Use the same pattern to create a zoo adventure using animal names from A to Z.
7. GATHERING THE SUN by Alma Flor Ada.
An alphabet in Spanish and English. Arboles: Trees, companions of my childhood.
Activity: How Many Ways Can We Say Hello? Challenge students to visit the Dewey 400 shelf in their school or public library to find foreign language picture books and discover how children all over the world greet each other.
8. TOMORROW'S ALPHABET by George Shannon. Greenwillow.
"A is for seed, tomorrow's apple." "B is for egg, tomorrow's birds."
Activity 1: Create a Tomorrow's Cook's Alphabet. Example: F is for potatoes, tomorrow's fries.
Activity 2: Take two of the words from this book and use them in this pattern: Eggs are just eggs until they hatch and then they become birds. Scraps are just scraps until they are sewn together and then they become a quilt.
Activity 3: Use the idea of Tomorrow's Alphabet to create Yesterday's Alphabet. Example: A is for letter, yesterday's airmail. B is for man. Yesterday's boy.