Alphabuddies: G Is First!

Jul. 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063055971.
K-Gr 2–One of the delightful—if occasionally infuriating—things about working with young children is their tendency to question why things are the way they are. In this story, the anthropomorphic letter G raises the question of why the alphabet is in its particular order when he asks the letter A to play a game of “G is first.” Will mixing up the letter order of the alphabet spell an end to reading altogether? The story relies heavily on Barclay’s graphic novel-like panel illustrations to convey the emotion and humor behind the text. Readers can really see how the characters are feeling, opening paths for conversations about emotions between caregivers and children. While the panel format may be unfamiliar to some readers, the lack of noisy backgrounds should allow those new to graphic novel–style reading to follow along easily. There are also ample opportunities for participation in the story, as certain pages and panels invite readers to sing along with a mixed-up alphabet song. Because of that, this book is best suited for children who are already confident in their alphabet skills.
VERDICT A delightful book that is more than a fresh look at the ABCs; it takes on rule-breaking and reasoning and is a fun addition to any collection.

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