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4.8 out of 5 stars53
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 26 April 2004
In 1954 "Life" magazine published a report about the problem of illiteracyamong the nation's school children and placed part of the blame on thefact that books that were supposed to teach children to read were boring("See Spot Run. Run Spot run. Fetch the ball, Spot"). Theodore Geisel'spublisher sent him a list of 400 words that the author was to cut to 250words, the number the publisher felt a first grader could absorb, andwrite a book. "The Cat in the Hat" uses only 220 words and made Dr. Seussan instant success with beginning readers. Eventually he would go on towrite almost four dozen books for children to read all by themselves.
Of course sooner or later Dr. Seuss was going to put out his own alphabetbook for beginning readers and in 1963 this book was published. It is, asyou would expect, more than a look at the twenty-six letters of thealphabet. Other books will tell you that "A is for Apple" and "Z is forZebra," but not Dr. Seuss because this book stars with "Aunt Annie'salligator" and ends with a "Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz." Young readers will alsoenjoy the mix of rhyme and absurdity so much that they might not noticeDr. Seuss is also showing them the difference between the big and littleversions of each letter.
As I was reading over "Dr. Seuss's ABC," a book that most definitely wantsto be read aloud to be fully enjoyed, I was wondering if I should tempermy enthusiasm by saying that this is not an ideal choice for a beginningreader's first alphabet book. After all, something simpler, in thetraditional "A is for Apple" mode might be more appropriate. But I thinkthere is something to be said for even beginning readers being confrontedwith the level of sophistication found in this book. After all, itpromotes fun as much as reading and young children might never notice thedegree to which they are being challenged.
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on 9 July 2003
My 2 year old daughter adores this book!
She insists that we read it before we go to bed each night.
The way Dr Seuss writes is is highly amusing & that makes it easy for children to learn from them.
I think it was only after 2 or 3 readings that she had learnt her alphabet!
What makes it fun for her is the way that instead of writing 'T is for Tree' Dr Seuss writes 'Big T little T what begins with T? Ten tired turtles on a Tuttle Tuttle Tree!'
Buy it your children will love you for making learning fun.
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on 17 July 2012
We were given this book as a gift. I'm afraid it sat on the shelf for a while as I wasn't that impressed when I glanced through it.

The illustrations seemed a little flat.

It references nothing real - a zizzer zazzer zuzz not yet having been found in the animal kingdom!

Also, my 3 yo son has expressive language delay and I thought it might confuse him.

Anyway, QUITE the contrary. He is far more engaged by this alphabet book than any other.

It is very cleverly designed so that in reading it aloud you linger over each letter far longer than you do in a traditional "a is for apple" type book. The little rhymes explore the soundings of the letter under discussion. It has helped my son in his letter identification and sound identification.

It is interactive and repetitive so that you can go "big B, little b, what begins with ?" and let the child fill in the blank, I tell you my son is delighted with himself when he repeats the right letter.

Not to mention what fun it is to read aloud. As another reviewer said, only then do you really appreciate it.

A definite buy for every household.
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on 25 November 2005
I read this book to my kids at bedtime at least two or three times a week. It is brilliant. After having read it about 200 times I have only just realised that every page can be sung to the same tune that you sing the ABC song to. You know the song ABCDEFG.etc..Now I know my ABC, next time won't you sing with me"? It works on every page of the book. Try it, it brings a whole new dimension to bedtime "Big B, Little B, what begins with B? Barber, Baby, bubbles and a bumblebee".
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Dr. Seuss takes his wild imagination and fun and turns it into one of the better alphabet books for kids. Every letter includes several appropriate items. They can range from the ordinary, left leg for "L", to the humorous. My family can still tell you exactly what begins with "Q", and we haven't reread this book in at least 15 years.
Parents tired of the standard "A" is for apple, "B" if for ball book will find a breath of fresh air here, too. They'll be laughing at some of the sentences and enjoying the meter used throughout.
This book bills itself as an "I Can Read" book. I hesitate slightly only because Dr. Seuss does throw a few of his trademark unusual characters into the mix. A parent will need to be close by to help their child sound out the harder words.
Dr. Seuss was a master at making picture books fun for all ages. This is a classic example parents will enjoy reading time and time again, even if their kids ask for it every night.
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on 23 October 2008
We've got a now 6 month old and he loves this book - it's perfect, with rhyming, learning the alphabet, and bright pictures. Happily, we love it too so are happy to read it. Brilliant book.
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on 29 April 2016
Both my husband and me love this book. We read it all the time to our toddler and carry it round in her change bag. It is the ideal size and as with all Dr Seuss books the illustrations and rhymes keep adults and infants equally entertained. I even found that when I read this to Sophie at a mother and toddler group other toddler came round to listen so it is obviously very appealing to little minds. The only thing I find a little annoying is that the rhyme at the end doesn't work for English pronunciation of the letter z it is designed for Americans who pronounce the letter zee.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 May 2015
I found this book in our attic in my search for finding good children's books and upon re-visiting it I found myself enjoying this book so much! It has a wonderful rhythm to it all the way through

(Example:
Big A
little A
What begins with A?
Aunt Annie's alligator
A.. a.. A)

So you can read it almost like a song which I think will appeal to kids. And simultaneously with the entertaining rhythm, it's also teaching the ABCs alongside quirky yet sweet Seuss style drawings, AND it teaches words beginning with each letter. A wonderful book!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 May 2015
I found this book in our attic in my search for finding good children's books and upon re-visiting it I found myself enjoying this book so much! It has a wonderful rhythm to it all the way through

(Example:
Big A
little A
What begins with A?
Aunt Annie's alligator
A.. a.. A)

So you can read it almost like a song which I think will appeal to kids. And simultaneously with the entertaining rhythm, it's also teaching the ABCs alongside quirky yet sweet Seuss style drawings, AND it teaches words beginning with each letter. A wonderful book!
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on 8 October 2014
I have vague memories of my parents reading this to me as a child and bought it for my daughter after finding it cheap here. It's much better than the standard Alphabet song for teaching children letters.
For each letter the captial and lower case forms are shown along with a catchy rhyme to demonstrate a range of possible ways the letter might sound. For example one of my favourites is:
Big F, little f, what begins with f? Four Fluffy Feathers on a Fiffer-Feffer-Feff.

My only gripe with it is that Z only rhymes if you say Zee not Zed.
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