The Art of A B C Books







Concept books are not just for little kids for many reasons, but one of which is that many abc books have been created by some of the most talented photographers, artist and designers in the world. I chose the items below because each book has great appeal with children and they are visually creative. 

After you read the book once, read a second time.  Take this time to really look at the images in detail. Then, ask "open ended questions" about what they see (these are questions with no right or wrong answer).

By reading the book a second time you are encouraging your child to be more aware of what is happening in the story, and to communicate their perception.  This activity helps children with reading comprehension, urges children to use their imagination and to " think outside the box." When children become aware of the whole picture they become more capable of thinking independently, and are able to solve problems on their own.

"Imagination is more powerful than knowledge" - Einstein




Peter Blake's ABC by Peter Blake

British Pop artist Peter Blake has an eye for the quirky and the overlooked. In this charming ABC is composed from the extensive collection of objects he has gathered in his studio during his long career. Designed in close collaboration with the artist, Peter Blake's ABC displays the strong graphic sensibility and the love of popular culture for which he is renowned. This charming  book will delight young and old alike. 

Creature abc by Andrew Zuckerman

This deluxe alphabet book features Zuckerman's breathtaking wildlife photography. From alligator to zebra, each featured animal boasts two striking portraits against a clean white background, offering a unique up-close view of the animal kingdom. 

City Alphabet  words by Joanne Schwartz 

The urban landscape is alive with words. You only have to look to find them bold, brassy and obvious, or hidden, secret and mysterious. It's this intriguing aspect of the city that Matt Beam has captured in his photographs words spray-painted on walls, etched in concrete, carved into wood, stuck onto glass. He and Joanne Schwartz have collaborated to create a visually arresting alphabet book that documents the random occurrences of language all around us.The result is an edgy catalog of words from "art" to "zoo" that inspires us all to look more closely. This beautifully designed book is a small treasure for those who love to explore and engage with the city in which they live.


ABC Kids by Basher.

Using creative alliteration, his signature Manga-style artwork, and his eye for clever design, Simon Basher brings a fresh approach to reimagining the alphabet. Each spread brings a new letter, a new friend, and some hilariously imaginative action. From Arthur, whose angry ant ate apples, to Maude whose mean monkey makes marvelous milkshakes, to Vera who vacuums vegetables, and Zak who zaps zeppelins, each page of this book begs to be turned to see what's coming next.


Paul Thurlby's Alphabet by Paul Thurlby.

In his first picture book, graphic artist Paul Thurlby presents a stunning alphabet that helps to make the shape of each letter memorable. From an awesome A to a zippy Z, this is the perfect ABC book for the young and hip. 

The Artful Alphabet by Martina Jirankova-Limbrick.

Sure to charm children and collectors alike, this artful alphabet book promises a new discovery each time one opens its whimsy-filled pages. "A" is for the amazing abundance of art in this addictive alphabet book! Fine artist Martina Jirankova-Limbrick fills each page with a playful profusion of objects, characters, shapes, and scenes, each one standing for, starting with, or formed by a featured letter (don't miss the swarm of "b"s flying by a hot-air balloon). An appealing, harlequin-like girl and an acrobatic dog lead a lighthearted journey from A to Z, while a final spread lists words to be found in the artwork, luring readers to return on a search for more hidden surprises.


The ABC Bunny by Wanda Gág 

Follows a little bunny as it scampers through the alphabet.


The New Alphabet of Animals  by Christopher Wormell.

Christopher Wormell's magnificent, color-drenched linoleum-block illustrations grace this alphabet book, so handsomely designed it's sure to appeal to discriminating adults as well as to children. The award-winning British artist, whose previous work An Alphabet of Animals took the top graphics prize at the 1990 Bologna Children's Book Fair, has created all new artwork for his latest interpretation of the alphabet, featuring glorious images of animals from armadillo to zorilla (a skunklike creature).

ABC pop! Rachel Isadora.

From airplane to zing, zap, zoom, this witty alphabet book explodes with energy, color, and fun. Rachel Isadora combines an amusing homage to such pop art masters as Lichtenstein, Warhol, and Oldenburg, with a sure knowledge of the images children find intriguing. ABC Pop! will make readers see everyday and not-so-everyday objects in an exciting new way.


Alphabeep: a Zipping, Zooming ABC  by Debora Pearson 

Describes a vehicle or street sign for every letter, from Ambulance to Zamboni.

Zooflakes: ABC by  Will C. Howell.

A is for alligator, B is for bear. Can you find the animal hiding in there? Not just another alphabet book, here is something special. Zooflakes ABC is a strong and simple concept book that works on more than one level. This graphically appealing alphabet book also develops children's visual acuity as they seek the images hidden within the pictures. Familiar animals make it easy to pick out the lions, turtles, and bears within the delicate and astonishingly inventive cut-paper snowflakes that Will C. Howell has created. Once readers have learned their ABCs, they'll learn to make their own Zooflakes in a fun "how to" section at the end of the book. In the classroom or at home, practicing your letters was never this much fun!


ABC by Bruno Munari

Artist, designer and children's author, Bruno Munari, has created a delightful ABC book. Beginning with an "Ant on an Apple," illustrations, simple text, and a pesky fly who will not stay on his page introduce the letters of the alphabet.