AN ANNOYING ABC by Barbara Bottner. This abc book tells a sequential story about the children in one classroom--they look to be young children. On the end and title pages, the children are walking to school in lots of different moods. Some look happy. Some look tired. Others look a bit grumpy but we meet the children first before the story begins. The story begins like this, "It was a quiet morning until....Adelaide annoyed Bailey. The first letters of each child's name are highlighted throughout and the alliteration used on each page reminds us that this is an abc book. But the story is about a class who is just getting on each other's nerves. It is a reminder of how out of hand things can get when we let the cycle of crankiness continue! Anyone who has ever spent anytime in a classroom will know exactly how this can happen. But with the help of an understanding teacher, all is turned around for a much better afternoon. This is a fun story and the illustrations are worth spending lots of time with. I am not sure this is one kids will read on their own--the names and verbs are tricky. But it is definitely one kids of all ages will enjoy and one I can see some classrooms creating their own version of this abc book with their own names.
The other alphabet book I purchased was AN EDIBLE ALPHABET: 26 REASONS TO LOVE THE FARM by Carol Watterson. I have not had the chance to read this one from cover to cover--it is packed with information. But this is one that would make a great read aloud for young children. Each page is packed with information connected to one letter of the alphabet. From how often asparagus needs to be planted to root vegetables, to the role of hummingbirds, this book gives students a very detailed look at a farm. There seem to be several opportunities for children to enter the book. Some may look for the illustration that matches the letter. Others may dig in deeper to read more about the farm. If a teacher were to read this aloud, it would probably take several days to do so. At first glance, it looks like a quick read but each page is filled with information and readers will want to take it all in. This one would also serve as a great mentor text for students writing literary nonfiction.