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3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  233 Ratings  ·  51 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)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 13, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
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!
May 13, 2016 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Alphabatics Loved this one! So delightful, creative, interesting, involving. I really see why this received a Caldecott Honor. It's fascinating and fun to see how the letters morph into what they depict (for example, the letter "C" rotates and becomes the smile on a Clown; the letter "K" floats up and billows out to become a kite; the letter "T" sprouts extra branches and leaves to become a tree).
May 22, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it
Darling and engaging and so clever and creative! This is an alphabet book with just one word per double page spread. But what makes this such fun...and so worthy of the Caldecott Honor it received is that on the left side of the page, you see the letter and then you see that letter morph into the shape of the word it represents. For example, take an O. Double it. Now add dots in the middle and feathers down below. You have an owl. I love Y. Start with Y. Add a furry, rounded square below it. Rou ...more
Sep 28, 2011 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Jan 24, 2016 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k-g-4, caldecott
Alphabatics by Suse MacDonald is a 1987 Caldecott Honor Winner.
Each letter is creatively transformed into the animal or things that is associated with the letter.
The letter transformations and illustrations are quite enjoyable.
Still in print as of 24 January, 2016.
Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
Jun 26, 2012 Allison rated it liked it
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
Jun 06, 2011 Luann rated it really liked it
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
Mar 10, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
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.

Mili Fay
Apr 30, 2016 Mili Fay rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

Fabulous! As a trained animator I love the way letters morphs to reveal the image of the subject that begins with the letter. I also appreciate the plain, non-distracting background. Though the illustrations are a bit more simple than what I personally prefer, I love the brightness of the colours. This is by far the best Alphabet book I have ever seen.
This book goes through the alphabet and has a different letter on each page. On the left side is the letter and then right side has a word that uses the letter with a picture that corresponds. For an example for the letter C there is a picture of a clown. This book is good for younger students because it introduces letters and words to them.
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.
Brooklyn Schamens
I thought the illustrations in this book made it interesting because of how colorful they were and how well they went along with the book itself. The book also provides an upper case and lower case letter on each page with an illustration and word of the picture provided.
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
Aug 24, 2014 Alondra Munoz rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 17, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
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
May 23, 2016 Sam rated it liked it
Shelves: caldecott
1987 Caldecott Honor - Favorite Illustration: I love the d for dragon page, it is so fun! I like that the dragon is depicted as fierce without being scary.
This was a cute alphabet book, and had a different, refreshing take. Some of the letters are really well done, such as d for dragon and k for kite. Others are a bit of a stretch, I felt that something else could have worked better (n for nest, for example). Overall, a fun, cute, almost wordless read great for readers of all ages.
May 27, 2015 Kelly rated it liked it
This was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1987. It definitely should have won over Hey, Al that did win.
Sarah Wiwchar
Apr 18, 2016 Sarah Wiwchar rated it liked it
Read with 3/4 EAL students. Good to keep encouraging the alphabet.
Jul 22, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
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
Jan 18, 2015 Kath rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 18, 2011 Mrs. rated it it was amazing
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
Benjamin Elliott
Apr 29, 2016 Benjamin Elliott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An alphabet book where the letters transform through a series of boxes into a full scale illustration that "incorporates" the letter. I think most of the transformations are plausible and fairly clever.
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.
May 07, 2016 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
I can see why this was awarded a Caldecott Honor. The bold, colorful stylized artwork pops from the page. MacDonald was very clever and creative in the way she morphed each alphabet letter into either a creature or an object. This book would be a fun way for young children to learn the alphabet.
May 10, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
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 Hansen
Sep 11, 2014 Kristine Hansen rated it it was amazing
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.
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