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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  312 Ratings  ·  64 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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May 13, 2016 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).
Jun 13, 2013 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!
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their little ones
I am continuing my quest to read all of the Caldecott Honor books. Otherwise, I probably would not have read this one. Our girls are far too old for it and the cover didn't really appeal to me.

The illustrations are blocky and vibrantly colorful, with a lot of white space to focus the attention on the mutating letters.

Overall, it's a basic alphabet book. Nothing more. I'm sure it will appeal to very young children, but I've seen more interesting attempts.
Caldecott Honor picture book. Yet another alphabet book. The idea was a good one, transform the letter itself into a word. But to me it ended up feeling cold and boring. The art did nothing for me. The word choice was uninteresting. And yet not bad, I just didn't like it.
Sep 26, 2011 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.
Maria Rowe
• 1987 Caldecott Honor Book •

I thought this was cute. There's 5 pictures for each letter, and it goes from the letter shape to the shape of an object. It was fun to look at and I thought the art was well done. There were a few times where there was a big jump between the 4th and 5th pictures, but overall the metamorphosis was pretty good. I had to do an art project like this when I was younger, and this might be a good book for younger kids to read then do a similar drawing.

As usual with these
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alphabet-books
This alphabet book is truly amazing. Suse MacDonald does a great job transforming a letter into a picture that beginnings with that letter. It’s a fun book for children and I believe children would remember more words by visually seeing the letters change into great objects. This is a great informational book.
Susan Erickson
Alphabatics is a great book for children who are just learning their abc's. Cute book for young children.
Gabriella Bumbaca
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Genre: Informational Non-Fiction
Grade Range: K-1
This is a very cool book that children will definitely love! I enjoyed watching the letters be transformed into the word from that letter. It's a great review of the alphabet for the students and can help them get excited about the alphabet.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The author is so clever in how she turns each letter into the picture.
Jun 26, 2012 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
Cassandra Gelvin
Dec 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Intro to ASCII art.

It's pretty simplistic. It's an alphabet book. There are so many of these out there, and it's very hard to do write. It's hard to do them decently, even. This is a decent one. But it's really not more interesting than any other non-terrible alphabet book out there.

Basically, it has a two-page spread of each letter and an object whose name starts with that letter. For example, "I" is for "insect," and it shows a lowercase "i" turning into an insect, with the stem splitting in h
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
Jun 06, 2011 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
Apr 17, 2008 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
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
Katie Fitzgerald
When parents come to my library looking for a “simple” or “traditional” alphabet book, I often hand them this book because of its straightforward letter-object relationships. Parents like B to stand for balloon, F to stand for fish, etc. But what I didn’t realize until I actually sat down and read the book cover to cover is that this is more than a simple litany of the ABCs and boring objects starting with each letter. The shapes of the letters actually figure into the illustration of each objec ...more
May 22, 2016 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
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caldecott, k-g-4
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
Mar 10, 2014 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.

Jan 18, 2011 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
Apr 26, 2016 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.
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.
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.
Mili Fay
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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.
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.
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.
Alondra Munoz
Aug 21, 2014 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.
May 10, 2012 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.
Oct 09, 2016 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Very interesting book with awesome pictures and concepts. I loved the way the letters turned into the actual word they were representing. I have never seen this done until I read this book and I really enjoyed it. I will most likely get this book for my classroom for it's unique set up.
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