Find the best alphabet picture books for kids that aren’t just for babies and toddlers, they are also for preschoolers and early and upper elementary children. In fact, a good alphabet book is great for many ages because it teaches the alphabet and letter sounds and builds vocabulary.
For younger kids, use alphabet books to introduce the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Noticing uppercase and lowercase letters. Learn new words!
For older kids, use alphabet books to learn new vocabulary about a specific topic, inspire writing their own ABC books, and practice reading skills. If you want to use alphabet books to inspire writing, here’s a fun and easy nature alphabet writing activity.
Some upper-grade titles are filled with interesting facts and difficult words; they are alphabet books for more advanced readers and word nerds.
Have fun exploring the alphabet with these wonderful picture books.
The Best Alphabet Picture Books
Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli
A wonderful work of art — this is also literally an alphabet book block. Each thick page is a letter shape. Kids will enjoy a peek at the next letters, and the vintage-style graphics in bold colors. Love it!
Poor Puppy and Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel (4 – 8 years)
You’ll be laughing through this silly ABC book about Puppy and Kitty and the toys and games they play.
ABC Animals! An Alphabet Adventure from Anteater to Zebra by Stephen F. Majsak (ages 3 – 6)
On sturdy board pages, oversized, full-color photographs show impressive animals from A to Z. The rhyming text moves readers through the book of camels and ducks; meerkats and newts; sea lions and tortoises, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who are learning about animals and the alphabet.
The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABCs (the Hard Way)by Patrick McDonnell (3 and up)
What an adventure! Look carefully as the cartoon cat in red runs through the pages and finds unexpected silliness with an alligator trying to eat him, a bear up a tree, a chicken squawking out of her coop, and so on, with each page representing one letter of the alphabet. You’ll love this uniquely imagined narrative story in alphabetical order.
Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood (3 years and up )
The lower case letters find the missing “x” and encounter the villainous capital letter “M” — this is a kid favorite to read over and over again.
A is for Apple (Trace-and-Flip Fun) by Georgie Birkett (2 – 6 years)
Explore the letters with your fingers! Grooved letters on each page plus illustrations of objects starting with that letter.
Book of Animals by Oliver Jeffers (ages 2 – 5)
I love the darling illustrations of animals on white backgrounds with their name and a huge letter. This cool layout helps this board book not be completely useless in the already overly saturated market of animal alphabet books.
A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska (4 – 8 years)
This is a cool graphic alphabet connected by a long piece of string.
ABC3D by Marion Bataille (2- 4 years)
Amazing 26 three-dimensional letters move and change almost like magic!
Al Pha’s Bet by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (3 – 5 years)
If you’re ever wondered how the alphabet got invented, read this clever alphabet creation story!
Alphabeasties by Sharon Werner (4 – 8 years)
Each letter of the alphabet makes a creature that begins with that letter. See the alligator? It’s illustrated only using the letter a. Genius!
Once Upon an Alphabet Short Stories for All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers (4 – 8 years)
My kids and I ADORE this amazing book! Oliver Jeffers writes wonderfully quirky short stories for each letter.
Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming (2 – 5 years)
Follow along as a mouse artistically decorates each letter of the alphabet.
AlphaOops! The Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis (4 – 8 years)
Things get crazy when Z demands to go first. This is one of my children’s favorite alphabet books.
ABC Dream by Kim Krans (3 and up)
Soft, dream-like watercolor illustrations capture words for each letter that children will delight in discovering. Look carefully to find all the words illustrated on each page that begin with the letter.
Animalia by Graeme Base (3 and up)
Gorgeous, detailed artwork illustrates alliterative sentences for a single letter on each spread like “Beautiful blue butterflies basking by a babbling book.”
Backseat A-B-See by Maria van Lieshout (Preschool and up)
Kids can practice reading skills by reading signs — just like the signs in this book!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault (4 – 8 years)
A classic favorite of childhood, this picture book is a rhyming story of alphabet letters having fun.
Puddle’s ABC by Holly Hobbie (3 – 6 years)
I love these characters! In this sweet story, Puddle teaches Otto the alphabet and how to write his name.
Try an alphabet sensory bin with your growing learners!
Read a Good Alphabet Book: More Favorites
P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter, illustrated by Maria Beddia
Perfect for word-loving kids! In this alphabet book, “A is for Aisle” and “H is for Heir.” Below each letter and illustration is a sentence describing each word. “M is for Mnemonic. // But now Mr. M. can’t remember why.” Isn’t this a delight for readers and writers of all ages?
Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book by Dr. Seuss (4 – 8 years)
Don’t miss reading this classic rhyming book by Dr. Seuss!
I Spy: Alphabet in Art by Lucy Micklethwait (4 – 8 years)
Discover artwork by searching the art for specific objects.
LMNO Peas by Keith Baker (3 – 8 years)
A cheerful depiction of careers and hobbies — for people and acrobat peas.
The Handmade Alphabet by Laura Rankin
Learn the letters in American Sign Language illustrated by a diverse variety of hands featuring different ages and skin tones.
The Case of the Missing Cake (Not an Alphabet Book) by Eoin McLaughlin, illustrated by Marc Boutavant
Use the clues in the illustrations to Bear solve the mystery of who ate the cake. It’s pretty obvious but funny, all the same, and a delightfully unique twist on the traditional alphabet book.
Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod (4 – 8 years)
Astro-Man is always alert for an alien attack. Bubble-Man blows big bubbles at bullies. Awesome alphabet fun!
Twenty-six Princesses by Dave Horowitz (ages 3 – 5)
This if a fun book of rhyming text about 26 different princesses starting with Princess Alice. Cute!
ABZZZ . . . a Bedtime Alphabet by Isabel Minhos Martins, illustrated by Yara Kono (4 – 8 years)
Little ones will enjoy this playful, interactive alphabet book where D is for Day and O is for Off-Switch. I love the questions that engage readers with the text such as “Quick, find your off-switch! Try pressing your nose. Did that work?“
What Pete Ate from A to Z (Really) by Maira Kalman (4 – 8 years)
Rich illustrations match this funny alphabet story of everything Pete eats — and it’s quite amazing really. (Glue sticks and underpants!)
Is an alphabet book a concept book?
Yes. Concept books teach or explain an idea or concept. Alphabet books teach the alphabet.
What is the purpose of an alphabet book?
An alphabet book introduces, teaches, and reinforces the letters of the alphabet, the sounds the letters make, and vocabulary words.
How do alphabet books help children?
Alphabet books support letter recognition including uppercase letters and lowercase letters and also letter sounds.
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