I will be writing daily in the “Slice of Life” challenge for March. Writing for 31 consecutive days already sounds intimidating. Questions circling my brain include:
- Who will want to read my slices?
- Why did I really sign up for this challenge?
- How will I really write a slice of life for the next 31 days?
The Alphabet and Alphabet Books
Have you read any of these? These books are on my “reread” shelf in my office. I often pull them down to look at the language, the content, or even to make a list for “those parents with a new baby” because they offer variety and comfort to me as a reader. H is for Hawkeye is a special favorite because it features all things that are Iowa-related so it is a handy gift for visitors or friends from afar.
What is my attraction to alphabet books? I love to see each author’s choice for “x” and of course I love the predictability of the structure. The book starts with A and ends with Z like the alphabet. Occasionally there is a challenge as in, Q is for Duck, an alphabet guessing game. Why is Q for duck? Because a duck “quacks.” That is a favorite of mine because it increases children’s conversations and adds more and different ways to “read” the book.
Neat, tidy,organized, predictable. That stability in my reading matched my desire to be a teacher when I was in third grade and wrote the “When I grow up I want to be a . . . ” paper. No surprise here. I was going to be a teacher. I loved to teach at an early age and often volunteered for a variety of “teaching” opportunities. Unlocking the power of the alphabet, words, sentences, paragraphs, and books was magical and I wanted to share that experience with others. Even now when a spontaneous conversation begins in the grocery store, my son and / or husband will roll their eyes, say “teacher” and continue on their path.
What about the alphabet?
Well, in English we have 26 letters that are used to form many, many more sounds and even allow us to borrow words from other languages. The first alphabet dates back to 1900 BC Egypt and yes, finally, older than me! Other symbols have become equally important in “Twitterverse” now that “#” and “@” are constant companions, but the 26 letters remain the same!
Children’s alphabet books are an enduring genre and have evolved from the hornbook, battledore, primer, speller, New England primer to the lovely texts today that feature alliteration, onomatopoeia, poetry, narratives, and curiosity. A Google search for “abc books” returned 105,000,000 results in 0.17 seconds. Two lists that I found interesting were the “Best 6 ABC Books” and this picture of the top ABC bookshelf on Goodreads.