How do you lay down a foundation for your baby or toddler’s literacy skills? It’s as easy as ABC when you read them stories featuring the alphabet. Learning those 26 letters is the key to unlocking new words and eventually learning to read, too.

Each of these board books highlights the letters from A to Z in fun and creative ways that make re-reading (again and again) a joy.          

B is for Bear

Written by Roger Priddy

B Is for Bear book cover

A perfect first ABC book for babies, “B is for Bear” assigns a familiar item to each letter along with a sweet rhyme. The bold visuals will catch Baby’s eye while touch-and-feel textures—such as fluffy down on the D is for Duckling page—make the story delightfully interactive.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book cover

The alphabet comes vividly alive in this story about adventurous letters that climb a coconut tree together. The musical, rhyming rhythms are fun to read aloud and there’s even a surprising plot twist!

Dr. Seusss ABC

Written by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss's ABC's book cover

You’ll never tire of reading this hilarious ABC book that combines real and made-up words—like Quick Queen Quincy and her Quacking Quackeroo—with fantastical illustrations that delight the eye.

Eating the Alphabet

Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Eating the Alphabet book cover

Highlighting fruits and veggies from apples to zucchini (and everything in between), this bright and cheerful ABC book not only teaches the alphabet, it might also encourage healthy eating!

Z is for Moose

Written by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Z Is for Moose book cover

Moose desperately wants to represent the letter M in the alphabet picture book that you’re reading. But when it’s finally his turn, he discovers that Mouse has taken his place…and let’s just say he does not handle disappointment well. Get ready to learn while laughing.

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s

Written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

The Little Red Cat ABCs book cover

Here’s an ABC book with no words, just letters accompanied by pictures that tell an engaging adventure story. (The gist: A lost cat joins forces with an alligator, bear, chicken, and dragon to find the way back home.) You can tell the story however you’d like and make it different every time while still nailing the ABC fundamentals.

Once Upon an Alphabet

Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Once Upon an Alphabet book cover

Got a toddler who knows the ABCs and is ready to put those letters to use? Once Upon an Alphabet tells a short story featuring each letter, like the one about Bernard and Bob battling over a bridge.

A Busy Creature’s Day Eating

Written and illustrated by Mo Willems

A Busy Creature's Day of Eating book cover

In this super-silly ABC book young readers tag along for a busy creature’s day eating (get it?) their way through the alphabet. (Expect some real toddler giggles when you get to P for potty!)

A to Z

Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton

 A to Z book cover

This classic kids’ tome keeps it simple: Each letter is paired with an animal doing an alliterative activity (elephants eating, gophers grinning, and so on) as well as—of course—Boynton’s charming illustrations.

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