Few adults would dispute the value of alphabet books in presenting the letters of the alphabet and basic words to young children, but the challenge is always to take the book beyond a bland instructional tool and into something which will actually engage youngsters’ attention. If kids enjoy what they are reading (or listening to) then they are far more likely to absorb the intended lessons.
In By Jingo, author Janeen Brian manages to achieve this balance by presenting the alphabet lesson through a series of verses, one for each letter of the alphabet. Instead of just being told, for example, that G is for giraffe, youngsters can enjoy the following poem:
is made up
of five long stalks,
one for his neck
for his walks!
The accompanying illustrations, by the talented Dee Huxley, are full of colour and humour, again drawing children into the text.
Children will love the rhymes, the humour and the vibrant chalk-pastel illustrations so much that they won’t realise they are also learning. Teachers and parents will find the book a delightful way to teach children letters and sounds.
By Jingo!, by Janeen Brian and Dee Huxley
ABC Books, 2005