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Al Pha's Bet

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  257 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Wonderful things are being invented every day in Al Pha's world-fire, the wheel, even shadows! His big chance to be part of history comes when the King announces that the twenty-six recently invented letters need to be put in order. Al makes a bet with himself that he's the man for the job. Through a series of funny events, he eventually finds the perfect order for the ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 12th 2011 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30)
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Such a fun read aloud! Everyone can participate in the read aloud by using felt or magnetic letters!
Dec 05, 2011 David rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, abc
Al Pha's Bet by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Delphine Durand, tells the story of Al who makes a bet with himself that he's the man to put the recently invented 26 letters in perfect order.

In Al Pha's world, wonderful things like the wheel or shadows are being invented. Al gets his chance to be part of history when the King announces that the 26 invented letters need to be put in order. Al's perfect order is rewarded by the King by naming his creation the "Alphabet."

The story features c
Savannah Harpster
Oct 20, 2012 Savannah Harpster rated it it was amazing
Shelves: digitalbookshelf
Ever wonder how or who put the twenty-six letters together that we all know? It’s not a coincidence how some of the letters are where they are or what letter they are next too. Well in all honesty the ABC’s came to be because of Al Pha who wanted to invent something magnificent. One day the twenty-six letters were invented and the great king wanted the town’s people to put the letters into some type of order. So on that day Al decided that he would do it! He started the day off with A for Al and ...more
Lauren Fogg
Jan 31, 2013 Lauren Fogg rated it really liked it
Shelves: abc-books
Al Pha looks at the world around him and all sorts of things are being discovered and invented. Al wants to invent something too. The king announces that whoever can arrange the letters into what he believes is the best order, they are promised to be remembered forever. Al gets right to work.

This books tells the story of how Al Pha made a bet to himself that he could put the letters in order. It describes his journey through each letter and how Al decided to place the letters in the order that
Darshana Khiani (Flowering Minds)
This is a hilarious read. I love the concept, as illogical as it is, of creating a story about how the alphabet came to be. A novel approach to the standard ABC books. I would recommend this book for kids who already know the alphabet and its sounds. I love the wordplay “B” and bee, “T” and tea, “P” and … okay, you get the point. Did you know there are two actual words in the alphabet. I was shocked I never even realized it.

I would recommend this book for storytime or reading at home. I read thi
Room4 BirdsHill
Feb 04, 2016 Room4 BirdsHill rated it it was amazing
I really liked that he was making all those words that start with the alphabet. First he started with A because it fell out of the bag first and at the end when it was XYZ I liked that the author made him throw it in the air to see what would fall first and the X fell first so he threw Y and Z up to see what was last. -AP

This book was fun because all the alphabets had to be in order and when he found all the alphabets he had to put all of them in order and then he had to show the king and the ki
Aug 05, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: ncbla
Filled with word play, this book tells the possible--but unlikely--story of how the 26 letters in our alphabet came to be arranged. When the king of the land calls on someone to arrange them, Al Pha decides to do so. Just by chance and a little bit of thinking on his part, the letters end up falling into place. There are plenty of puns that will make readers groan but also several that are fresh and creative. I'm betting older readers and adults will enjoy this one more than young readers who ...more
Oct 12, 2011 Nielson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a fun, quirky, and creative twist to the usual alphabet books. Al Pha lives in a time when wonderful things are being invented, but he wants to invent something too. When the King announces that they need someone to put the 26 letters of the alphabet into some kind of order, Al Pha silently makes a bet with himself that he will be the one to do it. In the story following, kids will be delighted as they learn how Al Pha came up with the order of the letters. It is funny and entertaining ...more
Jul 14, 2014 Tam rated it really liked it
My 8-year-old and I loved this book! My 4-year-old liked it but I don't think he understood it.

"A long time ago, there lived a man named Al Pha.
Al lived back when all sorts of things were being invented.
The wheel. Shadows. Al wanted to invent something too."

The king had 26 letters that needed to be put in order. Al made a bet with himself that he could do it.

"The first one was easy. He chose A, for Al."
"Just then, a bee buzzed by. 'Oh no,' shrieked Al. 'A bee!'
'Hey, that's it. A. B. Thanks bee!
Erin Straley
Jun 30, 2011 Erin Straley rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, picture-books
Cute story about the invention of the alphabet. You see, there was this guy named Al Pha and he made a bet with himself that he could come up with the best arrangement for the 26 letters that had just been invented. He obviously succeeded and Al Pha's bet became the Alphabet. A little contrived and a bit of a stretch (his friend Jay comes over for a visit right when he's trying to decide what should come after I). I'm curious to see what the kids will think of this one- it's definitely not a ...more
Sep 24, 2013 Shelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is becoming one of my new all-time favorite authors, after recently borrowing much of her picture book collection from the public library. Her simple stories are entertaining and makes reading F-U-N! Each of her books, including Al Pha’s Bet would make a fantastic read-aloud for parents, teachers and librarians. This story in particularly could be used with a felt board and letter’s that can be placed while reading along with Al’s reasoning behind the placement of them. Then ...more
Alphabet books are one of my favorites and this book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Delphine Durand, goes right along with it!

Al Pha lives during a time when many things are being invented, including the 26 letters. The king announced a contest saying that the letters needed to be put in some kind of order and Al knew that he was the right man for the job. Making a bet with himself that he could do it, he set off to work. This cute book describes how the letters came to be and in what o
Fun story. I enjoyed seeing how Al came up with the order of the letters. Some choices made me smile. Some made me laugh. And at least one made me roll my eyes...and smile. A fun book for the school-age child who knows their ABC's. Could work in a school-age storytime if I read it just right. Fun in a read-alone. A lap-read would work with the younger child, and could even be a way to teach a child their letters and the order of the alphabet.
Jan 14, 2012 Angie rated it liked it
I didn't mean to do so many AKR books in one day. Just turned out that way. The pictures are fun, and the story is, too (the fact that there is a story and it ties together is a change from many abc books!). It just won't be my favorite abc story ever. Doesn't mean it won't be someone else's. Enjoy!
Anastasia Tuckness
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Al, who makes a bet with himself that he can arrange all the letters in the most pleasing order. Older kids especially will appreciate the puns and story of how he makes his choices. Clever storyline starts out something like, "Way back when things were just getting invented, like fire and the wheel" ...
Apr 27, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit, picture-books
This is a cute story about how the letters in the alphabet ended up in "abc..." order. Turns out a guy named "Al Pha" made a "bet" with himself that he could find the perfect order. And thanks to various random events, he puts letter together such as "S" after "R" when a snake slithers by. The illustrations are full of detail and silly enough to match this fairly silly story.
Sara Harrison
Dec 26, 2013 Sara Harrison rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
My alphabet-adoring two-year-old loved this book, even though the story was totally lost on her. This is a really cute book, giving the back-story of how the alphabet got its order. And why we sing "Next time won't you sing with me?" The pictures are really interesting and have a lot going on in them.
This is such a clever book, perfect for young readers to predict the “next” letter that Al Pha will choose in his creation of the alphabet’s order. I hope I am able to read the book aloud to a class soon. The illustrations are filled with details that not only does the story entertain, the pictures are ones to enjoy over and over.
Jul 03, 2013 Relyn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: Amy KR
Shelves: lawsonland
I love Amy KR's books. Love them all. But, I especially love her children's books. I love the way she plays with words, with rhythm. The way she is so fully herself. You know? I loved this book and my second graders definitely did.
Kyle Greenberg
Al Pha's Bet is a great book for young children or primary elementary students because of its imaginative story of why the alphabet is in the order it is. Students will love the story of why the main character "Al" came up with the alphabet.
The Library Lady
Jul 05, 2011 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Another one that will sail over the toddlers but will be great fun for preschoolers and up. Rosenthal writes intelligent, witty books that are heads and tails over most of what's out there on the bestseller lists.
How was our alphabet organized? Amy Krouse Rosenthal fancifully answers that question with this book, describing Al Pha's bet with himself to order our letters. Some of Al Pha's choices are amusing, but many were random or evoke groans from the bad puns and jokes.
Laura G
Jan 31, 2016 Laura G rated it really liked it
Fanciful book about how the alphabet came to be ordered as it is. Full of wordplay and puns that youngest children may not understand, but for them, there is pee (P). Yes, it's contrived, but kids won't mind that. May be too long for a group read aloud but great for reading on someone's lap.
Jan 03, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kindergarten-2nd grade
Did you ever wonder how the order of the letters was chosen for the alphabet? Rosenthal imagines a scenario where a guy named Al Pha makes a bet with himself (get it? Al Pha's Bet?) that he can create the best order for the 26 letters. This would be a good classroom read aloud.
Ms Threlkeld
Aug 31, 2015 Ms Threlkeld rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Clever (and completely inaccurate) tale of how the letters in the alphabet came to be arranged. Some laugh out loud moments and energetic illustrations. Would pair nicely with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
Jun 29, 2011 Alyson rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Okay, so it does not make perfect sense that everything had names before there was an alphabet, but who cares? This book is still great fun. Learn how Al Pha put the letters in order and laugh out loud while you do.
Sandy Brehl
A somewhat clever premise, but most of the word play and pun stretch a bit too far for my taste. Could hit the right note for some kids.
Jul 18, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
Cute book about how the letters in the alpha bet were put together. Cheesy little ideas, make this a fun book to make you think about how the letters got to be next to the letter they are.
May 21, 2012 Mandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The King had invented letters and asked if anyone could arrange them in a creative order. Al Pha made a bet with himself that he would accomplish the King's request.
Jul 20, 2011 Tricia rated it liked it
A cute concept...that a man named Al Pha invented the alphabet on a early elementary audience enjoyed this twist on a concept book with humor both in text and illustration.
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Amy Krouse Rosenthal is.
She divides her time.


Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a person who likes to make things.
Some things she likes to make include:

Children's books. (Little Pea, Spoon, DuckRabbit)
Grown-up books. (Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life)
Short films. (The Beckoning of Lovely, The Money Tree)
Guided journals. (The Belly Book)
Something out
More about Amy Krouse Rosenthal...

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