abc picture books

My daughter is only 2 and a half, but she loves ABCs! I’m planning ahead to the coming months and year of school as I look for awesome books to read to her. Raisin and I loved these ABC books, so this is where we will start!

These are 26+ of our favorite ABC books in ABC order. (Affiliate links included below).

  1. A is for Annabelle by Tasha Tudor. A  little china doll Annabelle goes through an alphabet of her little toys and accessories.
  2. Alligators All Around: An Alphabet by Maurice Sendak. Sendak’s classic illustrations of alligators doing ridiculous things. Note that Sendak’s text is not politically correct in this day and age (for example, imitating Indians and pushing people).
  3. Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood. The little i has lost his dot, and the other letters in Charley’s alphabet help in a search. Emphasis on the lowercase letters, and they do not appear in alphabetical order.
  4. The Alphabet Book by P.D. Eastman. Alliterative phrases with Eastman’s classic touch.
  5. AlphaOops: The Day the Z Went First by Alethea Kontis. A mixed up alphabet adventure.
  6. Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions, by Margaret Musgrove, and illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon (Caldecott 1977).
  7. A to Z and In Between by Sandra Boynton. Boynton’s classic animal illustrations and creative imagination, such as “Xylo Xylophoning” and “Uglybirds being Ugly”.
  8. Backseat A-B-See by Maria Van Lieshout. For kids who love cars and driving around town.
  9. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault. A classic party in the coconut tree.
  10. The Construction Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta. For kids who love all things trucks and construction!
  11. Curious George Learns the Alphabet by H.A. Rey. The Man in the Yellow Hat teaches George the alphabet. Some are a bit obscure or politically incorrect (e.g., dromedary, tomahawk when George plays Indians). But this is classic Curious George for the monkey fans.
  12. Discover America State by State series has an alphabet book for each state; review the list here.
  13. Dr. Seuss’s ABC.  Not forced rhymes, but rather full of clever alliterative sentences. My favorite page: “Many mumbling mice are making midnight music in the moonlight … mighty nice.” (My personal favorite)
  14. Eating the Alphabet by Louise Ehlert. Vegetables and fruits that begin with each letter.
  15. Eric Carle’s ABC. Colorful animals (including narwhal and xolo) in a unique page fold-out format.
  16. E-Mergency! by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer. When the “E” gets hurt, the other letters try to communicate without using an Es so he can get better.
  17. Gone Wild by David McLimans. An alphabet of endangered animals in black and white.
  18. The Graphic Alphabet by David E. Pelletier (Caldecott Honor 1997). Verbs are illustrated in a unique style.
  19. If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk. A “discovered” alphabet of rocks shaped to illustrate letters.
  20. I Spy: An Alphabet in Art by Lucy Micklethwait. Classic artwork has items beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
  21. LMNO Peas by Keith Baker. Peas with alphabetic occupations and a nice rhyme to the book.
  22. Many Nations by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Robert Goetzl (published 2004). An ABC book about Native American traditions.
  23. Q is for Duck by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom. “An Alphabet Guessing Game.” Like The Z Was Zapped, the reader is expected to make connections using the alphabet. Why is Q for Duck? Because a duck quacks, obviously!
  24. Shiver Me Letters: Pirate’s ABC by June Sobel. Pirates want pirate letters other than R.
  25. Winnie-the-Pooh’s ABC, inspired by A.A. Milne. Using Ernest H. Shepard’s classic illustrations. A good option for asking and answering questions about familiar pictures using the one word on the page (e.g., who is eating the honey in this picture?)
  26. Z is for Moose by Kelley Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinksy (Greenwillow, 2012). A silly book in which animals put on an ABC play, and Moose cannot wait to be “M.”
  27. The Z Was Zapped Chris Van Allsburg.  Something happens to each letter; I love the ABC verbs.
  28. Zoo Flakes ABC by Will Howell. A craft book as well as an ABC book. Each letter is an animal created into a “snowflake” by folding and cutting. See ou related STEAM activity.

There are a ton more alphabet books to enjoy. These are only just some of our favorites! What are your favorite ABC books?

Check out my even more comprehensive list of great books for babies and toddlers or read my book, Baby & Toddler Literacy.

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Check out this list of some of the best alphabet picture books to get ideas on introducing and practicing recognizing the ABCs.

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