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The Alphabet’s Alphabet

Have you ever thought of the alphabet as one big happy family of relatives?  That’s how they are presented in The Alphabet’s Alphabet, written by Chris Harris and illustrated by Dan Santat.  Harris begins by explaining that the alphabet is just like a family and that they are all alike in many ways.  He then takes readers through the alphabet, comparing letters to their “family members”, and Santat’s illustrations bring these comparisons to life.  Some of my favorites are:

This book is laugh out loud funny, but it also could be useful for kiddos who are confusing letters or having trouble with letter formations – the simple yet silly associations could be memorable for kiddos having difficulty. Santat’s pictures illustrate these associations making them clearer and even funnier.   However, I think my favorite thing about this book is the ending message.  Harris says “Twenty size letters, unique from each other… / And yet, every letter looks just like another — / The same way that we are each special creations / And yet still resemble our friends and relations.  In those whom we love bits of us are reflected, / Which helps to remind us we’re all connected.”  Now more than ever, that message is so important to share with our kids, each and every day.  In a world often divided, my hope is that we raise this generation to recognize and respect each other’s differences, to learn from one another, and to come together to lead the world in a way we have never seen before.  The final thoughts in this book show our kids that, just like the alphabet, we are our unique people, with families and traditions and personalities, but we are still all connected. Our kids need to hear that it’s as important that we celebrate our individuality as it is that we recognize and embrace our community and connectedness as a human race.

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