123 versus ABC

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Mike Boldt
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9780062102997
Pages: 32

This is a book about, well… the characters can’t quite seem to figure it out! The numbers think it should be about numbers, but the letters are intent on it being about letters. They bicker back and forth until an Alligator shows up. The leader of the letters points out that Alligator starts with A, while the number leader states that it’s clearly 1 Alligator. This goes back and forth, with the numbers getting bigger and bigger and the alphabet moving up, for example a 10-piece Jigsaw puzzle being put together by 11 Koalas and 12 Lions. Finally, after all their shouting and fighting, A and 1 come to a peaceful agreement that the book is about numbers AND letters.

This is possibly one of the most entertaining number/letter books out there. Not only is the idea itself creative, but the bickering between A and 1 is very well written, the illustrations are extremely detailed and absolutely hilarious, and the alphabet words that are used are fun and familiar to children. The text is very easy to read within clearly outlined speech bubbles, and the color scheme highlights letters in blue and numbers in orange, making it even easier to keep track of, and children (and even adults) will have fun counting all the animals and items on the pages to see if they add up. Besides the educational aspect of learning the actual numbers and letters, the book teaches a nice message that both are very important and often work together. What a wonderful way to teach preschoolers numbers and the alphabet at the same time while still thoroughly entertaining them!