Alphabet Books and Letters: Books for Young Children

These books present a common theme for young children, the alphabet and letters, via a wide range of cultures and languages from around the world.

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For additional ideas, see the following:

ABeCedarios: Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish

Photo of Oaxacan wood carving of cheetah
Age Level: 0-3, 3-6
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

In this brightly colored book, the alphabet is presented in both Spanish and English, and includes the four additional letters — and whimsical animals — that make the Spanish alphabet so much fun.  Two brothers who are famous folk artists from Oaxaca, Mexico carved the wonderful animal figures that illustrate each letter in ABeCedarios.

Amelia to Zora

Illustrated by: Megan Halsey
Age Level: 6-9

"An introduction to 26 diverse, 20th-century women who have made a difference in such varied fields as the arts, sports, journalism, science, and entertainment. The entries include Dolores Huerta and Frida Kahlo." — School Library Journal

C is for Chickasaw

Illustratoin of Chickasaw individuals
Illustrated by: Aaron K. Long
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Chickasaw

C is for Chickasaw walks children through the letters of the alphabet, sharing elements of Chickasaw history, language, and culture along the way. Writing with multiple age groups in mind, Wiley Barnes has skillfully crafted rhyming verse that will capture and engage a younger child's imagination, while also including in-depth explanations of each object or concept that will resonate with older children. The colorful illustrations by Aaron Long reflect elements of Southeastern Native American art and serve to familiarize children with aspects of this distinctive artistic style.

Canta las Letras

Canta las Letras

Latin Grammy-winning 123 Andrés presents 38 songs – bright and catchy – to learn all about letters and letter sounds in Spanish. A song for every letter, plus consonant blends and more. With rhythms from electronica to salsa, families will be dancing from A to Z.

Eating the Alphabet

Eating the Alphabet
Age Level: 0-3

The alphabet and the luscious edibles that each letter represents are presented in both upper and lower cases. Colorful fruits and vegetables — from apples to zucchini — fill each page to make a tasty smorgasbord that informs and delights.

Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English

Young girl harvesting crops
Illustrated by: Simón Silva
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Using the alphabet as a pattern, paintings and brief poems explore rural life in Mexico presented first in Spanish and followed by English. From A to Z, brilliant illustrations and fluid poems evoke the plants, and more and the emotional impact on the lives of farm workers. English translation by Rosa Zubizarreta.

Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

Illustration of skeleton riding a bicycle
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish vocabulary featured

Señor Calvera is back! This time, he is looking forward to Grandma Beetle's birthday party — but he can't figure out what gift to give her. He consults with Zelmiro the Ghost and chooses one gift for every letter of the alphabet: acordéon, bigotes, cosquillas (accordian, moustaches, and tickles). It isn't until he reaches the letter Z, however, that Señor Calvera finds the best gift of all for Grandma Beetle.

Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet/Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer: L'Alfabet Di Michif

Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Michif

Product Description: This picture book is a small glimpse, from A to Z, of some of the sights and sounds of the Michif language and its speakers. The language of the Métis, Michif is a combination of French and Cree with a trace of other regional languages. Once spoken by thousands of people across the prairies of Canada and the northern United States, Michif is now so little spoken that it might disappear within a generation. This alphabet book is part of a resurgence to celebrate and preserve the traditions of the Métis people.

P is for Piñata: A Mexico Alphabet

Illustrations of children playing with a piñata
Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 6-9

An A-Z tour of our neighbor to the south in P is for Piñata: A Mexico Alphabet. Visit the tomb of a Mayan king, experience the life of the vaquero (Mexican cowboy), attend the world-famous Ballet Folklórico de Mèxico, and sample the everyday treat that was once known as the "food of the gods." From folk art to famous people to the original "hot dog," the treasures of Mexico are revealed in P is for Piñata.

S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet

Illustrated by: Matt Faulkner
Age Level: 6-9

S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet gives readers a guided A-Z tour of this small island country whose influence extends far beyond its sea borders. Famous landmarks such as the Blarney Stone and Finn McCool's Giant Causeway speak to the land and history that shaped Ireland and its inhabitants.

T is for Taj Mahal: An India Alphabet

Illustration of Taj Mahal
Illustrated by: Robert Crawford
Age Level: 6-9

From the quiet grandeur of the Himalaya Mountains to the urban city of Calcutta, T is for Taj Mahal: An India Alphabet showcases India's treasures. Visit the haunting Taj Mahal, a tribute from an emperor to his dead wife. Traverse the bustling streets of Mumbai, the second most populated city in the world. Sample a traditional meal fragrant with garam masala spices, or attend a cricket match where some games have lasted up to five days!

The Hidden Alphabet

Age Level: 3-6

Children will expand their vocabulary and play with hidden images in this unusual and elegantly illustrated alphabet book. A solid black frame with a one word descriptor focuses on an object. Lift the flap, and the image becomes the letter in full color, thus inviting readers to play with both words and images.

Tiger in My Soup

Illustration of roaring tiger coming out of soup
Illustrated by: Jeffrey Ebbeler
Age Level: 3-6

A tiger roars out of the boy's alphabet soup for a lively, well-illustrated adventure until his sister agrees to read to him. One wonders, however, if the tiger disappears entirely. This is imaginative, quirky and well told and lushly illustrated.

Welcome To My Neighborhood! A Barrio ABC

Illustration of two children in front of city buildings
Illustrated by: Shino Arihara
Age Level: 6-9

Ava is exploring her neighborhood from top to bottom and A to Z! Whether it's "C" for the Chino-Latino corner store or "V" for the vegetable plot that used to be a vacant lot, young city dwellers will see their neighborhood through a new set of eyes after joining Ava on her journey. Based on the author's memories of growing up within the Puerto Rican community in Philadelphia, the story is told in rhyme with Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text. Detailed paintings bring the neighborhood as seen through a child's eyes to life. Spanish version available.

¡Marimba!: Animales from A to Z

Parade of animals in zoo
By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Doug Cushman
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp), Spanish vocabulary featured

Find out what the animals in the zoo do once it's closed for the night in this lively, rhyming alphabet book. Jaunty illustrations add humor and meaning to words presented in two languages.

¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z!: Descubriendo el bosque nublado/Olinguito, from A to Z!: Unveiling the Cloud Forest

Illustration of an olinguito climbing through the trees
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

With lyrical text in both Spanish and English, we travel to the magical world of a cloud forest in the Andes of Ecuador. We discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there as we help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito, the first new mammal species identified in the Americas since 1978. Not your usual ABC book, the alphabet works as an organizing feature and provides children with a vehicle to encounter rich vocabulary as they learn about a unique environment.