Once Upon an Alphabet is a collection of short stories for each letter of the alphabet. Some characters pop up throughout the book and some are unique to their letter.
[BH] To be honest I did not love every single short story in this book but then again there are 27 of them. I do however love books with this type of concept and Oliver Jeffers did a new spin on the A-Z book. My favorite letters in this book are E, N, Q and R. I mean a story about fitting an elephant into an envelope and Robots that steal clouds are just too much. What I love about this type of short story book is that it never gets boring. It is fun to read all at once or over a long period of time. You don’t have to read the book in any order and it still makes sense. Somehow Oliver Jeffers makes all the different characters come to life so quickly that each one feels special! If I were to read this with a little I would let them pick a letter each morning and we would read that poem a couple times that day.
[G] I like this alphabet book for a couple of reasons. The first is that you don’t HAVE to read the entire book in one sitting if you don’t want! (In fact, it would be a littttttle bit long if you did). As adults, we know that if our attention starts to wander, we should put the book down and regroup. This could mean not picking the book up again until later—a couple hours, the next day, whenever really. And we know this is OK! Kids need to learn this too! It’s OK if attentions start to wander during books! Sometimes modelling is the best way to teach good habits. This book lends itself quite well to that. Each story is quite short, and can be read alone. However, the other reason I like this book is because the stories all work very well together too! If you want to read the whole book, you’ll find surprises throughout the book that connect each letter. In fact, I think the illustrations will become more rewarding the more you look at them! You’ll find new things each time.
[G] Speaking of the illustrations, they are fantastic! Lots of attention to detail and just the right amount of color to keep them interesting.
To help your little practice their letters, you could have them point out all the words on the page that begin with that letter! Jeffers does a nice job of including lots of words in the short stories that begin with the letter being discussed.
Activity: Painted Letters!
*Tape (painter’s tape if you have it works best!)
Take your piece of paper and tape the letter of your little’s first name onto it. Now let your little go wild with color all over the paper! Once your little is done painting, put the paper aside to dry, then peel the tape off and the letter will reveal itself! If your little enjoys painting do this with all the letters of their name and you will have a fun name banner when you are done!