Title: My First ABC
Author/Illustrator: Shirley Hughes
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Young Children’s Picture Book
Description: A is for apple, B is for ball. Learning your letters is fun with Katie and her brother Olly in this charming first alphabet book.
My Review: As the name suggests this is an introduction to the alphabet for young kids. ‘My First ABC’ is an interesting book that looks fun with a definite old-fashioned feel to it. In the book the young girl Katie and her toddler brother Olly go through the alphabet mentioning things that start with the letters of the alphabet and then give a little more information about them. An example is the first page ‘Aa is for aeroplane. High in the sky, an aeroplane zooms by, Olly and I wonder how far away it is going.’ Each letter of the alphabet is on one page and the whole alphabet is filled with lots of objects, some I didn’t expect.
While I enjoyed reading through the alphabet and I’m sure many young children will enjoy this book, I do wonder about some of the letter choices. Most of the letters are okay, with objects such as aeroplane, hats and leaves, and I think adding Grandma, Mum and Dad are appropriate too as kids will of course relate to these words easily, but a couple of the last letters were strange such as X for kisses and Z for zzzzzz(sleep). Although kids will see the letter X used as a kiss in cards and such, and the letter Z used to represent sleep in some fun books, I did think there were better words that could have been used such as the obvious Xylophone or Zebra/Zoo.
Each letter of the alphabet has a picture attached plus some extra information which Katie tells us. This is a fun extra which might help kids relate to the things being described. There is also a diagram on the back page of each letter, a word and a small picture attached to help kids learn even more things beginning with the letters of the alphabet. I do like this diagram as it’s a great index for kids to look at and more for them to learn, however I did think it was lazy to have some of the words repeat. A for example had Apple instead of Aeroplane, but C is a Cat in the story as well as the in the index. I also question the letter X being ‘box’. Box clearly starts with a B but I think it might confuse kids to have it as an X.
The illustrations are lovely but have a dated feel, this is probably due to the fact that this is a re-print of a book from the 80s. The pictures have lovely detail in them and I like the illustrations but I do prefer more modern artwork especially for very young kids. Overall this is a lovely book and there are some fun things to learn for kids but I still think some better words could have been used to represent the letters of the alphabet. Although this book is a story about Katie and Olly showing kids the alphabet, I think kids would find it easier to remember actual objects that begin with the alphabet and E for everyone or K for Katie sounds a bit strange to me. But that’s just my own personal opinion 🙂
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
What do you think of this book? Have you seen this book when it was first printed, or do you have any favourite ABC books? I’d love to hear from you so please do comment below. Come check me out in these places too 🙂 :