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A Fresh Approach to Learning Your ABCs

Today Debbie Glade reviews two totally different alphabet books, written by two authors from England. Both will please the little ones in your life and yourself, too.

Operation Alphabet ($19.95, Thames & Hudson, ages 3 and up), written by Al MacCuish is a most creative story about a boy named, Charlie, who does not pay attention in class, and then experiences the dreaded “Alphabet-Heebiegeebies.” He so desperately needs to learn his alphabet to pass a test and tries hard to study. But it’s no use. The mysterious “Ministry of Letters,” which is housed inside a red post box next to London’s Big Ben, quickly comes to his aid.  The Ministry works hard to rush a top-secret delivery to Charlie’s house that just might help him learn what he needs to know. In addition to its very original storyline, this book is wonderfully designed by Jim Bletas and marvelously illustrated by self-taught artist, Luciano Lozano. He has a style that is most whimsical and fun.  To top it all off, this is one of the sturdiest and most high-quality-produced books I’ve ever read. The book’s jacket can be reversed and used as an alphabet poster.


A slick and colorful book, Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet ($16.99, Thames & Hudson, ages 3 and up ) is a visual wonderland of letters. Written and illustrated, of course, by Paul Thurlby, this simple book teaches young readers the alphabet through pictures. What I like about the book, is that the words printed – and the illustrations depicted of those words – are not the usual words you see in most alphabet books.  Some of the words are adjectives while others are nouns. But no matter what the word may be, the appealing illustrations make you linger on each page. Like Operation Alphabet, this book also has a book jacket that can be reversed and opened to reveal a colorful alphabet poster. This hardcover book, too, is made from the highest quality materials and is made to last.

You really can’t go wrong with either of these great alphabet books. Why not read them both?!

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