ABZZz… A Bedtime Alphabet by Isabel Minhós Martins and Yara Kono

Convincing children to go to sleep can be an adult’s nightmare: sometimes you need the patience of a saint. After endless stories, youtube lullabies, fake snoring, face stroking and begging the whole process can become somewhat laborious.

This beautifully illustrated ABZzz book is here to help all of you exhausted and irritable parents out there. Send those toddlers to sleep with this sanity saving, sleep inducing, yawn provoker.

Published by Thames and Hudson.


ABC Word Play by Fany Perret

An interactive alphabet book for the design conscious toddler!

This is an eye-pleasing object for the bookshelf. The long rectangular shape and the bold, graphic typeface make this an irresistible board book to pick up and play with.

After you punch out the chunky neon letters, assemble the simple words on the other side of the spread, or spell new words of your own.

My toddlers adore this novelty book and have been going back to it again and again. They can’t spell the words yet; however, for them it is a captivating jigsaw puzzle that is introducing them to the shapes of capital letters.

Published by Chronicle Books

Publishing date 8/3/16

Alphadoodler by Jan Bajtlik

Alphadoodler is an activity book children and typography nerds, created by graphic designer Jan Bajtlik.
The book is filled with activities for children to draw, scribble, cut, stick, paint and design.

The book is beautifully put together; it is exactly the kind of book that I want my children to get stuck into. They might have to prise it from my fingers first though.

Published by Tate Publishing.

Alphabetics – An Aesthetically Awesome Alliterated Alphabet Anthology by Patrick and Traci Concepción, illustrated by Dawid Ryski

This is no ordinary alphabet book; this is the kind of alphabet book that Stephen Fry could have written – Atticus, the altruistic astronaut, Colossal Cornelius captures his companions with his camera, Daisy the diver dares a death-defying dip with dinosaurs.

Each of the letters of the alphabet is represented by a surreal and humorous alliteration and a whimsical, stylised illustration. As someone with a graphic design history, the book makes my mouth water with its perfect typesetting, abundances of vast white space and perfectly polished illustrations. As a teacher, I can see bags of potential for using it as a stimulus for creative writing.

If you know my blog well, you’ll know I’m a sucker for a decent alphabet book. This one has just sneaked into my top 5.

Published by Little Gestalten.

Work: An Occupational ABC by Kellen Hatanaka

An alphabetical tour through the coolest jobs you can imagine—and some you might never have heard of! With a sophisticated, minimalist design and visual jokes to interpret on every page, Work: An Occupational ABC introduces children both to the alphabet and to a range of alternative careers.

Groundwood Books

Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

The letters of our alphabet work tirelessly to make words that in turn make stories, but what if there was a story FOR each of the letters instead? Turn the pages of this exquisite book to find out…

Here you will discover twenty-six short stories introducing a host of new characters (plus the occasional familiar face). From Edmund the astronaut with his awkward fear of heights, via the dynamic new investigative duo of the Owl and the Octopus, through to the Zeppelin that just might get Edmund a little bit closer to where he needs to be, this book is packed with funny, thrilling, perilous and above all entertaining tales inspired by every letter in the alphabet.

– Harper Collins

Alphabet Books

I love a good alphabet book, I have quite a substantial collection. The prospect of a new one makes me pretty excited. I like the idea that a simple concept can be interpreted in many ways. Don’t get me wrong, the good ones are fighting for attention in a sea of cutesy, naff, regurgitated ‘A is for Apple’ alphabet nightmare. But if you look in the right places you will find some that deserve to be written about by creative review or awarded a D&AD pencil for their ingenuity and design.

Here is a selection of my favourite alphabet books.

Alphabet by Paul Thurlby

Discover an alphabet like no other! In his first children’s book, highly-collected graphic artist Paul Thurlby creates an amazing world where each letter of the alphabet becomes its word. From B for bounce, with two bouncy balls, to Y for yoga, with a stretching yoga instructor, this is a stunning alphabet that helps to make the shape of each letter memorable for first readers. Amazon

A Zeal of Zebras by Woop

An embarrassment of pandas, a galaxy of starfish, a shiver of sharks…these are all collective nouns used to describe their groups. Woop Studios, acclaimed for their work on the Harry Potter movies, has illustrated these quirky phrases, creating a series of extraordinarily beautiful art that has been collected here for the first time. The colorful introduction to animals and the alphabet is accessible for young children, while the gorgeous, whimsical art and clever wordplay make it perfect for design-savvy parents and inspired gift givers. Longer than the standard picture book, with high design and production values, this is a volume readers will want on their coffee tables in addition to their child’s bookshelf. Chronicle Books

Alphablock By Christopher Franceschelli, illustrated by Peskimo

With thick pages cut into the shape of each letter, children and parents will enjoy this peek-through guessing game around the letterform itself. Sprinkles, hot fudge, and cherries hint at I’s ice cream sundae, while aquarium accessories hint at F’s fish. As readers interact with the pages, they will familiarize themselves not only with the 26 letters and associated words, but also with each letter’s physicality—angles, holes, and curves, both front and back. With Peskimo’s animated, stylish visuals, this fresh ABC book encourages readers to manipulate the alphabet in a whole new way. Note: illustrations have a retro feel, with imperfect variations in color and texture. Abrams Books

A Railway Alphabet by Jack Townend

A Railway ABC is a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the railroad. Townend’s endearing lithograph illustrations – in both colour and monochrome – are accompanied by a gently humorous and whimsical text that will captivate children and adults alike. Waterstones

Jungle ABC by Michael Roberts

Designed as both collector’s item for art and fashion enthusiasts, and an educational tool for children, this ABC features orchids, parrots, snakes and wildebeest. It contains the 26 letters of the alphabet illustrated with cut-out paper collages dancing with African colours and rhythms. Amazon

Anteater to Zebras by Alan Fletcher

Alan Fletcher (1931 – 2006) is one of the most influential and respected figures in British design. Famous for the high profile work he created within Pentagram of which he was a co-founder, Fletcher became renowned as one of the most creative graphic designers on the British scene.

Anteaters to Zebras, created the year before his untimely death in 2006, is the first children’s book by Alan Fletcher to be published in the UK. Originally designed with Fletcher’s grandson in mind, the book is a creative, playful and witty introduction to the alphabet, expressing the pleasure he took in turning work and play into the same activity.

Children and adults alike will delight win Fletcher’s series of brightly coloured animals illustrating the letters of the alphabet and in his infectious sense of fun. Tate Shop

A Child’s Day, An Alphabet of Play by Ida Pearle

Artist Ida Pearle gives readers a way to play for every letter in the alphabet. A is for act–curtains up! B is for blow–pinwheel ready! And C is for catch–butterflies beware! Ida’s cut-paper collages are the perfect mix of vintage and modern, comfort and inspiration. Her images of children–on tiptoe, on a zebra, dancing, and jumping–are full of grace and flow. And her distinctive patterns and striking designs spring from page to page. Perfect for both children and adults, this extraordinary alphabet book will add a dash of whimsy and style to any bookshelf. Amazon

Operation Alphabet by Al MacCuish illustrated by Luciano Lozano Design by Jim Bletsas

Welcome to a very secret world. Not many people know this, but inside a special, little red postbox in London, close to Big Ben, there exists a top secret department. It is so top secret that only the Queen of England, her Prime Minister, Spies and Cats know about it. And now you…” This book part of ‘The Ministry of Letters’ series recounts the adventures of the top-secret government department ‘The Ministry of Letters’, the place where all the letters and all the words in the world are created. We are introduced to this secret and then told the story of ‘Operation Alphabet’, one of the most famous adventures ever to have happened to the letters who work in the Ministry. The star of the story is Charlie Foxtrot, who starts school aged five and finds learning the alphabet confusing and strange. We learn how the members of the Ministrys Special Alphabet Service (SAS) set off on an adventure to Scotland to find Charlie and teach him, by song and rhyme, the alphabet and the joy to be found in letters and words. They succeed he goes to school the next day and gets full marks in a test and the world lives happily ever after! ‘Operation Alphabet’ also comes with a special jacket that folds out into an alphabet poster.

Check out this website to find out more about the book and resources for schools.

ministry of letters