My husband, the illustrious author/illustrator Matt Faulkner, is very intelligent (note his wise choice when picking a spouse). He was also the last kid in his class to learn the alphabet. Matt is very visual, and one of the reasons he had a hard time distinguishing some letters was because they can look so different depending on the font. That’s why Alphabeasties and other Amazing Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss is so terrific. This alphabet book makes animal pictures and alliterative phrases using different typefaces. Uppercase Gs are shown with and without a “beard”, and you’ll see a lowercase g sometimes has a “groovy curl on its head” but sometimes it doesn’t. A gaggle of Gs and gs group together to make a giraffe standing in long blades of grass. The sheep shapes are made of S’s, so the sheep sheared with scissors has a pile of curly S’s at its feet. It’s great to have a book point out that letters can look different in books because of the typeface – “a lowercase a can wear a little hood” or “a lowercase a can be a ball and a stick.” No wonder it earned starred reviews and Parent’s Choice awards. Alphabeasties and other Amazing Types will help all those visual “Picture Smart” learners with letter recognition and the Common Core State Standard of print concepts.
If you have access to a computer and a printer (both of which you can find at the Orion Township Public Library), let your child choose interesting fonts in which to type and print their names. Gather magazines, newspapers, coupons, etc. for your child to cut up and compare letters in different fonts. Kids can glue all the a’s on a big A shape, etc., or make alliterative pictures with them by drawing an outline of the animal and letting kids glue the corresponding letters onto the shape. An Alphabeasties Amazing Activity Book is available in bookstores along with flashcards. When you’re ready for fun with numbers, check out Werner and Forss’s book Bugs by the Numbers.
For more information about Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss, visit their website at wdw.com.
For more book recommendations and activities, please visit kristenremenar.com.