When Numbers Met Letters by Lois Barr; illustrated by Stephanie Laberis. 2020. Adobe Photoshop CC. Published by Holiday House.
Brief summary: Children in a classroom who are playing with the numbers and letters line up and go outside. Number 1 introduces itself to the Letter A. Other numbers and letters contribute to the conversation comparing how they are alike and different, always trying to one up each other. This accelerates until there is a war between the letters and the numbers. Suddenly, there is a loud “STOP!” by a different group who demonstrate how they can exist together in harmony.
Comments: Primary students will be able to see and understand the likes and differences of the two groups. Large and bright illustrations with speech bubbles.
The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s(the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell; illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. 2017. Pen and ink, pencil, watercolor and spot digital color. Published by Little, Brown and Company.
Brief summary: A cat ran out the door of a house and encounters an alligator. The alligator joins the cat to meet a bear. The cat, alligator and the bear come across a chicken. The chicken joins the trio and soon there is a dragon. The story continues with the five of them. The adventurous story is wordless with only the capital letter and small letter of the alphabet on the page along with something that begins with the letter. Aa Bb Cc
Comments: Story without words. There is a list in the back of all of the letters and corresponding words. I like that this ABC book is different by not telling the reader what the letter is about on the page. Surprise: It may not be a noun.
Sidenote: I was thrown by the ‘s of ABC’s when I first saw the title of the book. ABCs was taught to me as being plural. I did some research online and found that sometimes ‘s is used to mean a plural to avoid confusion.
Little i by Michael Hall; illustrated by Michael Hall. 2017. Digitally combined collages of painted and cut paper. Published by Greenwillow Books.
Brief summary: Little i’s dot fell off, rolled down a hill, over a cliff and into the sea. Little i swims across the sea to an island where he discovers !s, *s, and ,s. He finds the dot but is confused of why it does not fit anymore and goes home without it to tell his alphabet friends how the journey has changed the letter.
Comments: So stinking cute! The ending is adorable. I plan to pause a lot while reading this book to my students to make sure they see how the letters are on the page and get the little puns and play on words and punctuation. The letters spell out their words and conversations several times as well, so I suggest that the young reader is able to see the pages.