We welcome you back to another installment of “The Trumpower Twins Book Club.” Today, we will be reviewing a collection of texts specifically dedicated to the introduction of the first ten Arabic numerals and also our Latin alphabet.
Jayce: In other words, 123 and ABC books.
Justine: Fun factoid! Did you know that our modern English is the only European language that does not feature required diacritics?
Jayce: No, but I do now.
Bedtime 123 by Eric Walters
Jayce: The artwork in this book should not be overlooked! I don’t know how to describe the style exactly. The colors are soft and warm; the actual art somewhat stylized but not too abstract. It looks to be colored pencils? Regardless, I really like the soft blue-green and the peach colors that are paired constantly throughout the book. It reminds me of a watermelon.
Justine: A watermelon?
Jayce: Each page shows their respective numbers in large, numeral print. There are one or two lines that incorporate the number in the picture (i.e. “Two foxes sleep in their burrow”). But for little tykes who can’t read yet, enthusiastically repeating the numbers like Mom did is another way to use the book.
Justine: A little too enthusiastic, if you ask me. How excited am I supposed to get over the number four, anyway? A bonus feature of this book is that it teaches the special names for different animal sleeping spaces. “Burrow” for foxes, “nest” for birds, etc.
Verdict: 6 out of 10 pacifiers. Choose this one for the slightly stylized art, the soft colors, numbers reinforcement, and the bonus vocabulary words.
My First Thomas & Friends 123 by Golden Books
Justine: I defer to you, brother, as this theming is largely for you. I am not overly interested in locomotives.
Jayce: This was a great numbers book! Mom liked it because one page had the number printed very big. The other side had the number again with an image. She said the number, said what the picture was, then said the number again.
Justine: Repetitive but sound. You will not be able to use the images to teach children basic items (cup, cat, bed, food) because they are all train-themed. Overall a clean cut book, free from distractions. Good for small learners.
Verdict: 7 out of 10 pacifiers. Choose this for simplicity of design.
Seek and Count by Yusuke Yonezu
Justine: My favorite numbers book by far! I want to squeal with delight. There are so many good elements, I hardly know where to begin.
Jayce: Each two-page spread has the number and an image. The number is one the left. It is big, bold, and simple. Underneath, the number is spelled out with letters.
Justine: The opposite page has a flap picture. When you open the flap, the picture transforms! The number is seen again in smaller type above the new picture. Absolutely marvelous! I loved the flaps. Fascinating to study.
Jayce: Seriously. She just sat there toggling it back and forth. I was like, “One baby chick. Yes, we get it. Move on already. I want to know what happens next.”
Verdict: 10 out of 10 pacifiers. Clean cut. Flaps capture interest. Numbers clearly shown in numerals and in words. An excellent teaching tool.
Follow the Dots ABC by Gina Maldonado
Justine: Tactile learning meets language development! Young learners are encouraged to trace the shape of letters with raised dots and numbered “swipe” guides. Each letter has an image–useful for reinforcing the names of everyday objects.
Jayce: Personally, I felt a little young for the dot thing. The pictures were nice. I’ll appreciate the dots more in a year or two.
Verdict: More for pre-school than babies, although you can use the pages to learn colors or objects. 7 out of 10 pacifiers.
The Alphabet from the Sky by Benedikt Gross
Justine: I am not afraid to admit it. This one was over my head.
Jayce: I see what you did! Good one, Justine.
Justine: No, seriously. I didn’t get it.
Jayce: Oh. …. Yeah, me neither.
Justine: Aerial photographs of cities, neighborhoods, towns, etc. show how letters from our alphabet can be discovered in the terrain around us. Unfortunately, I’m just not old enough to appreciate what I’m seeing.
Jayce: Such interesting patterns though!
Justine: Also, we’re not supposed to tell you this, but Mom could not find the S on the S page. I begin to revisit my questions about her qualifications for her position.
Verdict: As a baby book, 2 out of 10 pacifiers. Seeing as how it is not intended for babies, this can hardly be held against it.
Abdo Kids Alphabet: Aa by Bela Davis
Justine: We include this title with the caveat it may not be intended for public purchase. This delightful alphabet series offers one volume for every letter, yet appears to be available predominately in library binding format, which is prohibitively expensive for retail purchase.
Jayce: Find it at your library! There are many ways to use it. Mom pointed to the big B printed on every page and picked something out from the photo that started with B.
Justine: She also made the sound. A lot.
Jayce: Like, a lot a lot.
Justine: New readers can practice their skills by sounding out the sentence provided on each spread. Letters beginning with the letter in question are colored in red. This presents another reading option: flipping through the volume to sound out only the red words.
Verdict: An excellent educational tool to be used in a variety of ways. Possible applications for even babies secure a 10 out of 10 pacifiers rating.