alphabet books

I have been researching picture books for a research project in primary schools. I made a long wishlist, and unfortunately it would cost a small fortune to buy them all. Here are some interesting looking alphabet book  by various designers, artists and classic children’s book authors. Some are  driven by the art and illustration, some by typography, others even include a narrative.

1. Charley Harper’s ABC’s


2. An A to Z Treasure Hunt by Alice Melvi

I like the concept of this book, which requires children’s participation. From the blurb: “Many pages require an object to complete them, and so the hunt begins…for postage stamps, fruit stickers, tea bag tags and a favourite view, amongst many others. This illustrated interactive alphabet book allows each child to create a finished book unique and personal to them. Only when the reader has contributed to every page is the book finished and the treasure hunt over!” 


3. Neues ABC-Buch by Karl Philipp Moritz, illustrations by Wolf Erlbruch.

Unfortunately most of them will not work in German. However there ist this one: Neues ABC-Buch by 18th century writer and poet  Karl Philipp Moritz from 1790. Here are some webpages dedicated to the original version, including the original drawings. This is a contemporary version with illustrations by Wolf Erlbruch. The cover does not appeal to me so much, but  I read some good reviews about his work and it looks like an interesting choice. Erlbruch created unusual picture books, which I plan to explore more.



4. Bruno Munari’s ABC 

Bruno Munari’s ABC : From the Amazon blurb: “Beginning with an “Ant on an Apple,” illustrations, simple text, and a pesky fly who will not stay on his page introduce the letters of the alphabet.

Bruno Munari is a well known designer, who also wrtoe about design.I like this quote:

“‘A thing is not beautiful because it is beautiful, as the he-frog said to the she-frog: it is beautiful because one likes it.’ Bruno Munari 


5. The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni 

Leo Lionni’s Alphabet tree: From the blurb: A strong wind blows most of the letters off the alphabet tree and those that remain hide among the branches. Then a bug and a caterpillar  come along and teach them  how to arrange themselves into words and sentences in a gentle parable about the power of the written word. 


6. ABC: The World of Eric Carle

ABC: The World of Eric Carle and his animal alphabet seem to be published in both English and German. There are also animal flash cards available. 


7. Roy Lichtenstein’s ABC

Roy Lichtenstein’s ABC: .“Roy Lichtenstein, one of the primary artists of the pop art movement in the 1960s, has revamped the alphabet with his own attitude and style. With his combination of popular imagery and “high art” that borrows the techniques of advertising and the comics, Lichtenstein revivifies the alphabet with playful and entertaining art and refreshes the ABC for art lovers and letter lovers alike. This was the last book the artist completed before his death. ”


8. ABC Pop! by Rachel Isadora

ABC Pop! by Rachel Isadora “With a tip of her hat to such ’60s icons as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg, Isadora whips out a zinger of an ABC book. Baby boomers will find this artistic homage a nostalgic hoot, while their offspring will appreciate its verve.” 


9. 3D ABC by Marion Bataille.

Last but not least e a short and brilliant video introducing the 3D ABC by Marion Bataille.



3 Responses to “alphabet books”

  1. lolcat literacy and alphabet books « word and image Says:

    […] All this just proves my point about locat literacy and I guess I just have to add this alphabet book to my recent ABC book list. […]

  2. emerald ring Says:

    emerald ring…

    […]alphabet books « word and image[…]…

  3. Ursitoare Botez Targoviste Says:

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

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