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Alphabet Books

Use research about high-quality alphabet books to find the right alphabet book for a child reader.

Alphabet Books Guide Introduction

This guide was created to help patrons of the UNI Youth Collection better understand and locate the alphabet books in our collection.

The content in this guide was researched and developed by Natalie Weih, Youth Collection Graduate Assistant, in the fall of 2017.

What makes a good alphabet book?

A good alphabet book:

  • Has one to two objects that are easily identifiable and meaningful for the age level of the child that the book is written for (Huck & Kuhn, 1968)
  • Avoids objects that have several correct names, such as rabbit (Huck & Kuhn, 1968)
  • Doesn't use the abbreviation of words, such as plane for airplane (Huck & Kuhn, 1968)
  • Uses common sounds of letters rather than silent letters, blends, or diagraphs, for example, don't use the word ark (Huck & Kuhn, 1968)
  • Is conducted around a theme (Robinson, 2008)
  • Has subtle humor incorporated (especially for the kids with alphabet anxiety) (Robinson, 2008)
  • Invites the response of and involves the child (Rhoten & Lane, 2001)
  • Contains illustrations that are meaningful allowing the child to picture the word (Rhoten & Lane, 2001)
  • Has a predictable organizational pattern making it user friendly (Bradley & Jones, 2007)