Pragmatic Mom

– ABC Books

I found that a great way to learn letters was to play games with magnetic letters.  I deconstructed various toys to create an “alphabet game” using squishy magnetic letters (but any magnetic letters in the shape of the letters will do) and a magnetic fishing pole.  My son (about 12 months old at the time) would fish letters out of a bucket and stick them on a magnetic board.  If he got them wrong, I’d find the correct letter and put up next to the letter.  We’d talk about how is it the same and how is it different.  Another variation would be to sort all the letters on the board by color and identify them (my letters were randomly in four colors).  Or try to make an alphabet train by putting the letters in order.  We’d play this game 3 or 4 times a week for about 5 to 10 minutes; always letting my son initiate the game, and ending it as soon as his interest waned.  It was a fun way to learn letters.  After my son learned upper case letters, we added in lower case letters.

These are our favorite alphabet books.  Ok, to be more correct, I didn’t mind reading these books incessantly to my child.  To purchase, click on the picture of the book to buy at

Maisy’s ABC (lift the flap, pull the tab) by Lucy Cousins.  The first children’s book we ever purchased and still a favorite!  Toddlers will love lifting the flaps and pulling the tabs. 

Robert Crowther’s Most Amazing Hide and Seek ABC Alphabet Book by Robert Crowthers.  The book completely lives up to its title!  My kids loved pulling the tabs and lifting the flaps!  This was the book responsible for teaching all my kids their letters.

A Was An Apple Pie by Etienne Delessert.  Finally, an alphabet book with both upper and lower case letters  plus beautiful illustrations, but beware, it will make you hungry for apple pie!

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert.  I love Lois Ehlert’s gorgeous illustrations and hopefully this will encourage your children to eat their fruits and veggies!

The Absolutely Awful Alphabet by Mordecai Gerstein.  Chock full of SAT level adjectives to help build your child’s vocabulary!  For kids who love words.

A is for ? A Photographers’s Alphabet of Animals by Henry Horenstein.  You and your child will have fun guessing which animal from Horenstein’s wonderful photographs.

Chicka Chica Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.   A fun rhyming book that is easy to memorize and chant all day long!

I Stink by Kate McMullen.  Pragmatic Mom’s neighbor with two small boys highly recommend this book.  [ages 3-7]

The Dinosaur Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta.  If your child is very interested in dinosaurs, this is a great book because each letter is about a dinosaur with a paragraph of interesting information to captivate both child and adult.

The Handmade Alphabet by Laura Rankin.  Learn the alphabet in sign language.

A Big and little Alphabet by Liz Rosenberg.  This is great because it shows lower case AND upper case letters.

Alligators All Around by Maurice Sendak.  We like to sing the story. 

Max’s ABC by Rosemary Wells.  Rosemary Wells creates a story out of the letters of the alphabet.  Pragmatic Mom’s son is especially fond of Max and Ruby.

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