Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Alphabatics” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  200 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A is for ark. But did you know that if you turn an A upside down and round the point out a little, it becomes an ark? B is for balloon. But did you know that if you blow it up really big, the hole in the middle floats away like a balloon?

In this wonderfully creative alphabet book, letters are pulled, twisted, reversed, and curled until they become part of what they represe
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published December 1st 1986 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 1986)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Alphabatics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Alphabatics

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.Animalia by Graeme BaseDr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. SeussEating the Alphabet by Lois EhlertLMNO Peas by Keith  Baker
Fun and interesting ABC/Abecedarian books
105th out of 217 books — 137 voters
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry PinkneyMadeline by Ludwig BemelmansWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakFlotsam by David WiesnerTuesday by David Wiesner
List for #nerdcott
314th out of 335 books — 36 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 376)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
High on the list of all of my kid's favorites, this wonderful book uses unusual pictures to form the letters of the alphabet. Even if you already know the orders of the letters, we all had fun trying to guess how the pictures would form on each page. Highly recommended!
This ABC book shows each letter transforming into the word depicted on the page. It was a cute and simple, but not over the top.
This is a truly a unique alphabet book. I like how each letter morphs into the item that the letter starts with. For example, on page 1, The “A” changes color and water is added to the bottom of the box. Then the “A” is flipped upside down and then a little house structure is added to the top. Then on the next page, animals are added and the word “ark” is added the boat that appeared in the place of the “A.” It is in the same format for every letter. I really liked the fact that they not only sh ...more
This reminded me of two other Caldecott-honor winners, The Graphic Alphabet and Gone Wild. This ABC book doesn't have text beyond the letter of the alphabet and the name of the item representing the letter. The star of this book are its illustrations! They show humor, movement, bright colors, and simple shapes while very cleverly morphing from a letter of the alphabet into an object representing that letter. I could see this book being helpful to some young students as they learn their ABCs. The ...more
Alphabatics by Suse MacDonald is a creative alphabet book where each letter is twisted, curled, pulled or reversed until they morph into an object starting with that letter.

MacDonald's illustrations portray the alphabet while creatively shaping the letters into different objects. My favorite images are ark, dragon, fish, house, kite, nest, plane, and swan.

Both upper and lower case letters are shown. While some of the tranformations are more of a stretch than others, the creativity shown here co
My five-year-old son picked this book out from the library today. He is obsessed with alphabet books right now. Maybe because he can read them on his own.

I absolutely adored this book. The words chosen to illustrate the letters weren't especially unusual, but the illustrations were intriguing, enchanting, and nothing short of magical. I might have to add this book to our personal library. For me.

Miriah Mascetta
This book won a Caldecott Honor in 1987. This book is very simple and easy to read. It is teaching children the alphabet by using words that go along with the letter. It would be easy for them to remember apple for A for example. This would be good to do in early classrooms, and at home for babies.
Kathryn Brewer
This book is a little trickier than other ABC books so you could use this with 2nd graders or older grade levels. There is close connection between the pictures and text so the students can use those to help them read. Also it is a concept book to use for ABCs.
Alphabatics is a unique alphabet book that shows each letter transform into an object that begins with that letter. For example, the letter ‘A’ flips over and becomes an ark, and the hole in the letter ‘b’ transforms into a balloon. It is fun and interesting to watch each letter evolve, each twist, turn, and change is shown in a series of illustrated boxes on one page leading to the final transformation and label of what it represents on the next. The illustrations are bright and colorful and sh ...more
Alondra Munoz
This book was cute and simple. I liked how each picture matched the letter and the letters slowly morphed into the big picture. This book is perfect for the little kindergarteners who are just learning about letters, it is a fun way to introduce them to the alphabet.
A colorful and creative way to look at the alphabet; I couldn’t wait to turn each page and see how the next letter would transform. The illustrations are clean and bright, and bring a new perspective to the alphabet concept book. I would suggest this book for children who already have some familiarity with the alphabet, so that they’ll be stimulated rather than confused or distracted by the changing letter shapes.

CIP: “The letters of the alphabet are transformed and incorporated into twenty-six
This was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1987. It definitely should have won over Hey, Al that did win.
Caldecott Honor (1987)

Silly and fun, Alphabatics encourages kids to "think outside the box" as each letter in the alphabet transforms into a word the letter starts with. Not a new concept, but the stages shown in the boxes really highlight the transformation. kind of like a cover of animorphs
What a wonderful way to turn letters into images. Almost Chinese in its approach to association of the character/letter to an actual thing that it represents. Some of the graphics and colors are a bit retro. It was published in 1986, but it could just as well have been 1968.
I enjoyed this fun and simple Alphabet book, which won a 1987 Caldecott Honor. The letter morphs into the word on the opposite page, like N turning into Nest or G turning into a Giraffe. My son loved the brightly colored pictures in this simple picture book, and I liked that I could point to the picture in the book and then to the wall stickers that corresponded to that animal/object (like T for Tree or L for Lion). Recommended for ages 2-6, 4 stars.
Ashleigh Smithers
This book is a very good visual and conceptual book. It twist,turns,and rearranges the letters so they become what the letter stands for, this helps children to associate the letter with something they already know. I like the concept of doing this so it helps with more than one type of student learner. This book has a variety of different things, it isn't all animals or all music it switches it up. I would defiantly use this in my classroom someday.
Alphabatics is a great book for introducing alphabetic order to young children. I think middle grades enjoy the illustrations of the book as well. I like to use this book for support to teaching alphabetical order and the many ways our world is organized in ABC order. I also like to use this book as a spin off for a creative drawing activity for students to take an alphabet letter and create something from the letter. Caldecott 1987 Honor book
Beverly Kennett
Big bold letters, easy for students to see. Then there are four progressive pictures showing the lowercase letter slowly turn into the object that corresponds with the letter. Great for grades K-1 alphabet instruction. Also good for art instruction with older students. The illustrations are simple and clear, yet colorful and attractive.
So fun! This alphabet book introduces each letter on a two page spread and then the letter morphs into a part of the image that represents it. My favorite letters were D (for dragon) and M (for moustache). Inventive, this book stands out among the pack of alphabet books.
Kristine Pratt
Visually this was really awesome. I loved seeing how the letters would morph into other things. Very cool! I'm giving this book to my artistic daughters to inspire them to play with letters a little today too. It'll be fun to see what they come up with.
Yates Marie
This is an alphabet book. On every two pages, there is a letter, one word, and a picture. Beginning readers can look at the pictures to help them figure out what the word it. The pictures are very student friendly. This is a really cute book.
This very creative book builds a visual connection between the letter that morphs in stages into the word it is associated with. Obviously when you have to do this with twenty-six letters, some will work better than others, but overall it works.
A much better alphabet book for children than "Anno's Alphabet." More entertaining and colorful illustrations to accompany each letter. I also liked that the illustrations also have the full word spelled out instead of just having the letter.
Mommy says: Groovy pictures of letters morphing into animals. Cana reads a lot of picture books right now, along with her more age appropriate reading, because she likes to see what we are reading to her younger brother....
Mrs. Downs
GR Level: NA


This is a great way to introduce letters and things that begin with that letter. Very creative and clever way of presenting the alphabet!
Sep 22, 2012 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Deborah by: Nanci
Each letter of the alphabet, sometimes capitalized and sometimes lowercase, transforms into another object that begins with that letter. My toddler loves this book!
ABC - This book is a great way to show an object and the letter that goes with it. The letters morph into the picture that they represent. Very clever!
Wasn't my favorite. The letters all changed into some kind of object that started with that letter. I thought some objects were really stretching it.
The illustrations are very creative. This book can be used to discuss the letters of the alphabet and beginning sounds as well as details in illustrations.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Graphic Alphabet
  • Hildilid's Night
  • In the Forest
  • Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book
  • Alphabet City
  • A Pocketful of Cricket
  • Green Eyes (Family Storytime)
  • Fly High, Fly Low (50th Anniversary ed.)
  • Nothing At All
  • Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet
  • The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
  • Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888
  • The Faithful Friend
  • The Moon Jumpers
  • On Market Street
  • Harlem
  • Mice Twice
  • April's Kittens

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »