ABC books that don’t make you want to poke your eyes out: WWRW

Well, howdy!  What We’re Reading Wednesday, 2 weeks in a row?  What is this, some kind of joke?  No, no, I assure you, it’s just a challenge issued request by Jessica.  There will come a day when I can’t keep up with that request, there will come a day when the courage of bloggers will fail.  But it is not this day, friends.aragornSo I threw a movie reference into a post about books.  Sue me.  (Maybe it’s also in the book?  I don’t remember.)

My Gabe (and Zeke, by default) are learning their alphabet letters and sounds.  Truthfully, I was very surprised at what Gabriel already knew when I “assessed” him for “kindergarten”.  But I have to have something to show our charter school rep, so ABCs and 123s it is.

As a general rule, I find alphabet books a little… gag-worthy.  But somehow I stumbled upon a few that are actually pretty decent.  Glowing recommendation, I know.  Check them out, though.  If you’re in the market for an ABC book, one of these just might do the trick.

ABC books 2

Clockwise from top left:

An Alphabet of Catholic Saints

I’ve had this book since Aliya was in kinder.  Each 2-page spread is about a saint.  It has a little poem/rhyme, and a tiny bit more info about the saint at the bottom.  It’s only a small bit of info on each saint, so don’t expect a biography.  My only complaint is that if you’re using it to teach letters, you’re going to have a tough time using the illustrations.  The illustrator did this cute thing where the letter is a part of the picture of the saint, but it makes things a bit confusing unless your child already knows the letters pretty well.  (You can sort of see from the cover what I’m talking about.)  I just use the smaller letters within the text to teach recognition.


Puptents and Pebbles: A Nonsense ABC

Far and away our favorite ABC book.  It’s called a “nonsense ABC”, and it really is that.  My boys giggle and ask me to repeat every page at least twice at each reading.  Here’s a sample:

“‘Puptents and Pebbles,’ / said the King to the Queen; / ‘The words go together, / but what do they mean? / ‘They make no more sense,’ / Said the Queen with a grin, / ‘than a hairbrush of feathers / or a toothbrush of tin.’ / The King burst out laughing, / The Prince came to see; / Then they all read the letters – / A B C D!

Cute, right?  We just read the letters we’ve learned a few times/week, so the book isn’t overwhelming, and the boys always look forward to the next letter.  Here’s the bad news: it’s out of print.  But don’t be scared off by the lowest price on Amazon ($48 last I checked!!).  I got mine from Amazon, an autographed copy no less, for under $10.  You might want to check Bookfinder periodically.  On second thought, maybe I should sell my book!  Who knew it was so valuable?

G is for Goat

I got this suggestion from Charlotte @ Waltzing Matilda.  We like goats around here, and this book is a quick and fun read.  We just got it, but they’ve asked for it every day.




Abadaba Alphabet

Let’s round out the ABC books with our other top favorite.  Abadaba Alphabet is a cute book in the style of Puptents (above), but with very different illustrations (busier) and more “lists” of silly things.  For example, the “C” page says: “Abadaba alhpabet,/ crackajackeroo, / see a letter, sound a letter, / c ** c ** c / cupcakes, crickets, cockatoos, cows in cantaloupe canoes,” with illustrations to match.  Good stuff.  Bonus: it comes with an audio version by my bestie* Jim Weiss!

*Not my actual bestie.  I’ve met him 3 times though, so maybe someday…

Oh! Bonus! If your child likes coloring, check out the new flashcards and coloring pages by Happy Saints.  EDIT:  I don’t see the ABC cards anywhere on his website.  I bought them as a part of a GoFundMe or something, so maybe he’s going to make them available later?  I sure hope so, because my kids far prefer these coloring pages over the ones in Twenty Six Letters to Heaven.


Alright, alright.  Enough about ABC books.  Back to Jessica’s request: Five in a Row (Five in a Row): Volume 1 and Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven: A Catholic Preschool Curriculum.

Five in a Row: We’re still on Lentil by Robert McCloskey.  Mentioned it last week.  Still love it.  (We only do FIAR activities at our co-op, so we’ve decided to spread them out over 2 weeks.  We read the book almost daily at home, though.)

Twenty Six Letters to Heaven

Letter D

Have You Seen My Duckling?

Very little text – every other page or so?  Sweet images, simple.  #caldecott


Helga’s Dowry: A Troll Love Story

A fun tale about a troll who uses her wits and magic to make her own destiny.  #feministtrolls #hahahahahaha #dePaola





Daisy Comes Home

Mei Mei has 6 hens, 5 of whom are very happy.  The other, Daisy, gets bullied by the rest.  She ends up on an adventure that teaches her some defensive strategies and everyone ends up happier than before.  Jan Brett is a very interested author illustrator.  Some of her stuff, I like.  Others, not so much,  This one was a good one. Have fun finding the hidden pictures.  #busypictures


Make Way for Ducklings

I have mixed feeling about McCloskey, and this is one that I didn’t particularly care for until I heard the backstory.  Too long to get into, but I’ll just say that the things that annoyed me (sepia tone and Mr. Mallard: Absent Father) both have legitimate roots in the war era in which this was written.  I changed my mind, and now I really like it. #caldecott




Little Donkey Close Your Eyes

Sweet book about animal bedtimes.  The illustrations are fun and interrelated.  #repetitivebutcute





Phewsh.  #tired
Go visit Jessica for more books!


  1. Oh Amazon loves me and will love me more now since i’ll be ordering many of these! Esp. looking forward to Puptents and Pebbles!
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  2. Thanks for giving me this link! I think I’m going to look for the Puptents and Pebbles one!
    I know what you mean about the poke-your-eyes-out type of books. It drives me nuts when stupid books are published and people think it’s ok that they’re stupid because they’re for little kids. I’m the mom that had to read them, so they better be good or they’re out the door 🙂
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