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ALPHABET BOOK (Usborne Farmyard Tales)

Author: Heather Amery

Illustrator: Stephen Cartwright

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Publisher: Usborne Publishing Limited,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Go through the alphabet, finding objects on the farm that start with each letter. An alliterated sentence narrates the scene and a question prompts the child to interact with the page, either finding an object, counting a group, or describing what is happening.The letter is in the corners of the page, upper and lower case. This an ABC book with a seek-and-find element and vocabulary for kids who read at Level 1.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 6

Age of Child: Started reading with 3-year-old boy.

Young Reader Reaction: Our son loved to interact with every page (there are 26). We are really "into" counting, also identifying animals and letters. We often stopped halfway through because 26 letters is a LOT of work. We came back to this book, as he wanted to read it again. My son actually offered "bucket starts with 'B.'" He figured out that there is a small yellow duck to be found on each page. (sigh)

Adult Reader Reaction: There are lots of dimensions to this book. I like how it goes beyond the repeated letter sounds (alliteration) and rhymes to help kids explore how words are used. It made it so easy to read to my son. It is so interactive it is more like an activity book.

Pros: This is a learn-your-ABCs book that is fun and has lots of things to find. With its questions it will directly engage kids in discovering letters, letter sounds, counting.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. The story is fun for parent and child, and very interactive. It is an excellent learning tool. The pictures are cute and it has some humorous elements. The illustrations offer hours of self-directed exploring.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Usborne My First Book of Numbers THE STEPHEN CARTWRIGHT 123   THE GREAT CITY SEARCH (Usborne)   TROLL BLOOD

Educational Themes: This is a very teaching-friendly book. Although this is a "letters" book, it is a prime counting book, too. Kids will also learn about animals and farms; patterns; and story-telling (what is happening that is funny?)

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, literacy, interactive learning, rhyme, counting

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2008, March 2008

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