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Never be Bored with These Board Books

978192171420720130731-11413-1kzandiThere’s something extra special about a boxed set of books, especially when they’re beautiful and sturdy and made to last. You just know they’re for keeps. Bronwyn Bancroft’s 1, 2, 3 and abc ($17.99, Trafalgar Square Publishing, Ages 1-4) includes two titles in a compact set:  An Australian 1, 2, 3 of Animals and An Australian abc of Animals. If the only Australian artist you know is Ken Done, take a look at the talent that is  Bancroft.

In the vast sea of counting and alphabet books, it never ceases to amaze me when I discover new ones that are creative and original. Author Bronwyn Bancroft is an Aboriginal artist who uses her talents to entertain the littlest readers with vivid multi-media illustrations filled with dotted, striped and geometric designs.

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An Australian 1, 2, 3 of Animals counts from one to twelve and features animals of Australia like koalas, kookaburras, and geckos, while An Australian abc of Animals takes readers through the alphabet with additional animals of Australia such as a dingo, honeyeater and a wombat. The illustrations are so pleasing to the eye that they will keep a toddler’s attention as you recite the numbers or letters.

Bronwyn Bancroft’s 1, 2, 3 and abc would make a wonderful addition to your toddler’s library, and with the thick board book pages, you can enjoy reading these books over and over again. Then, if you can bear to part with them, you can pass them on to another child who will enjoy them as much as you and your child did.

– Reviewed by Debbie Glade

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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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