Amazing Books for Singing and Learning the Alphabet

by heather cherry Looking for some books to get your young charges interested in learning their letters? Combine fun, rhythm, singing, dancing, and colorful pictures for an educational experience that’s sure to get kids into their ABCs.

Photo courtesy Sheena DiSpirt.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault Illustrated by Lous Ehlert

Simon and Schuster Inc. October 1, 1989 $17.99

Martin is an American children’s author. Archambault contributed to over 20 books, but is most known for the best-selling classic alphabet book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Archambault has been featured on “Reading Rainbow” and “Storytime” on PBS.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom takes children through a humorous tale about the alphabet. The book rhymes and inspires children to learn their letters. The pages are filled with primary colors and easy-to-understand text to engage young readers. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom allows children to sing, dance, and learn their letters, and is essential in any child’s library.

Recommendation: Own It

A Was Once an Apple Pie

Edward Lear Adapted & Illustrated by Suse Macdonald

Orchard Books September 1, 2005 $12.99

Letters are more than they seem in Lear’s A Was Once an Apple Pie. Lear is known for A Book of Nonsense; Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets; and Laughable Lyrics. He was an English artist and writer of children’s verse. Macdonald is an acclaimed author and illustrator of many popular books. She is known for Alphabatics, which received the Caldecott Honor; Here a Chick, Where a Chick? and Look Whooo’s Counting. A Was Once an Apple Pie is a classic tale that uses the alphabet and image association to help children learn. The book walks through each letter to teach its corresponding sound. The rhythms are catchy and offer children a way to learn how syllables and consonants can create words. Showing children how a letter makes not only a word, but an object is a great way for them to learn; “D was once a little dog, doggy, moggy, oggy, noggy, waggy, woggy, little dog!”

Recommendation: Borrow It

Tony Baloney

Pam Munoz Ryan Illustrated by Edwin Fortheringham

Scholastic Press January 1, 2011 $16.99

Tony Baloney causes a raucous in this kid’s book by Munoz Ryan. The author takes control over her characters and shares her real-life experience with children. She was the oldest of three sisters and cousins. She has written Esperanza Rising, Becoming Naomi Leon, Riding Freedom, Paint the Wind and The Dreamer. She is National Education Association’s recipient of the Civil and Human Rights Awards, the Virginia Hamilton Award for Multicultural Literature, and recipient of the Willa Cather Literary Award for writing. Tony Baloney is a tale that covers sibling rivalry, sharing, and imagination. It is a great story to show children how to work out their frustrations and apologize for their actions. The story teaches the alphabet by rhyme, repetition, and similar sounds. Ryan often crafts silly sentences that kids fall in love with, like “Tony Baloney is a macaroni penguin.” Nannies can use this story to show how the sometimes-difficult dynamic of older and younger siblings can be navigated.

Recommendation: Borrow It