Picture Books: A-B-C and 1-2-3

Alphabet books and counting books are some of my favorite picture books, and I’m often surprised that books about such simple elements can get so elaborate.

R is for RobotR Is for Robot : A Noisy Alphabet is a hullabaloo of onomatopoeia, as comic robots try to put the alphabet together, one sound at a time. From “Ahoogah” and “Beep Boop” all the way to “Yoink” and “Zap”, Watkins’ clanking crew puts together and organizes the letters, though not everything always goes as planned. This colorful alphabet book will be popular with boys and girls who love robots and anything mechanical.

Professor Whiskerton-ABCLisa Falkenstern puts together an even more sophisticated alphabet in Professor Whiskerton Presents Steampunk ABC. Two mice, dressed in Victorian clothing, are building something, using everything they can find, from an anvil and a bolt through a level and a monkey wrench and all the way to…well, that is kept secret until the last two pages. Give this book to anyone who loves to tinker and create, and who likes a good mystery.

Numberlys“Once upon a time there was no alphabet, only numbers,” begins Joyce’s latest creation, The Numberlys. And everything was fine and orderly and…and dull and gray. Five friends thought that maybe there could be something more, hoped that there could be something more, and finally, set about to making something more. Using bits and pieces of the numbers, they made something awful…and then artful! Letters! And with the letters came color, and things like pizza and books and more!

Have You Seen My DragonIn Light’s Have You Seen My Dragon? a little boy searches for his dragon in a detailed, labyrinthine cityscape. Though the setting is drawn in black and white, the little boy is almost the only thing in color. Almost…because this book is also a counting book (1-20) and a seek-and-find book. Starting with one large green dragon and ending with 20 red paper lanterns, the reader follows the boy’s path above and below the streets, while counting each colorful object. A fun book for kids who like intricate illustrations.

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light. 9780763666484. April 2014. Gr PK-1.
The Numberlys by William Joyce (ill. by William Joyce & Christina Ellis). 9781442473430. May 2014. Gr PK-2.
Professor Whiskerton Presents Steampunk ABC by Lisa Falkenstern. 9781477847220. January 2014. Gr PK-2.
R Is for Robot : A Noisy Alphabet by Adam F. Watkins. 9780843172379. June 2014. Gr PK-1.

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