There’s a new alphabet picture book popping up on shelves everywhere, just perfect for cozy bedtime reading with your child. Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Betsy Snyder, ALPHABEDTIME is a rollicking introduction to the alphabet – with a restful, bedtime wrap up. My kids are almost grown, but this is just the kind of alphabet book they would have asked me to read again and again because it’s not your ordinary “a is for apple” type of alphabet book. Instead, it’s a fun story with letters infused and lots of game-like opportunity to hunt for the letters on each spread.
Here’s the official description:
“A cast of adorable alphabet characters make this clever bedtime story a standout!
Suppertime’s over. Everyone’s fed.
Alpha Mom says, TIME FOR BED!
It’s a busy night for the Alphabet Family—after all, there are 26 kiddos to get ready for bed. A, B, and C declare they are not ready, and Impish I and Jazzy J don’t want to settle down, but by toothbrushing-time the crew seems to be headed in the right direction. Bath time requires six bathtubs and is super-splashy—and getting into jammies is no joke—but finally, after a story has been read and they are all tucked in tight, peace should reign. Except what’s this? When Mom turns off the light, it’s an Alpha pillow fight! Toddlers are sure to get a huge kick out of this lively alpha family—and hopefully following each and every little letter’s antics will tucker them out!”
Now, in celebration of the book’s release, and in the hope of sparking some good alphabet fun, here are SIX extension activities for ALPHABEDTIME!
1. Go on a letter hunt. As you read the story together, pause to look for and point to the letters as they are creatively presented. (Note: Each child’s shirt has their letter stitched in bright colors.) For added fun, after reading a spread, pause and play a game of “I spy” as you and your child take turns naming and then hunting for letters.
2. Do a picture read through. After reading ALPHABEDTIME aloud to your child, flip things around by having your child re-read it to you using the pictures (and letters) as clues. Reading the pictures is a great pre-reading skill because it encourages interacting with the page. It’s also a wonderful way to foster storytelling and memory skills. So, snuggle up and enjoy being “read” to.
3. Sing some alphabet songs. Singing songs is a fun and effective way to learn and remember new information (like the letters of the alphabet) so after reading the story, sing some alphabet songs together. Here’s a variation on the traditional one that I learned as a child, that you and your child might enjoy:
4. Do a hands-on alphabet activity. A quick search on-line reveals an abundance of alphabet-themed activities and crafts, but here are a couple of simple ideas that my own kids enjoyed when they were small:
- Make pizza dough letters. Make or buy a ball of pizza dough. Sprinkle flour on a clean work surface and then have fun rolling out “snakes” and then shaping them into letters. Gather all your letters on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt or parmesan and bake and eat!
- Have alphabet fun at the sandbox. Visit your local sandbox (or the beach!). First, smoothe out the sand using your hands or feet. Then take turns etching letters into the sand using your fingers or a sand tool like a shovel or stick. For extra fun, turn it into a guessing game.
5. Play a “what if” game. Inspired by Susanna Leonard Hill’s wonderful imagining of what bedtime might be like for 26 rambunctious letters, have fun imagining what might happen if the Alphabet family encountered different situations. For example, “What if it was breakfast time? What would each alphabet child eat?” or “What if the Alphabet family decided to plant a garden? What would each Alphabet child pick to plant?” And your choices, of course, must pair with the letter names!
6. Have an alphabet book fest! After reading the ALPHABEDTIME, your kids might be inspired to read more alphabet-themed books. If so, head to the library and have a alphabet book fest! Your librarian can help you find some good books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susanna L. Hill is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Moon’s First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship, and the award-winning author of over twenty-five more books for children, including Punxsutawney Phyllis, Can’t Sleep Without Sheep, and the popular When Your Lion Needs a Bath series. Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai. She does frequent school and library visits, teaches picture book writing, and has a popular picture book blog. Susanna lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley where she practices the alphabet with her children and two rescue dogs.
Face Book Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/SusannaLeonardHill
Twitter: @SusannaLHill https://twitter.com/SusannaLHill
Instagram: @susannaleonardhill https://www.instagram.com/susannaleonardhill/
Purchase link for ALPHABEDTIME https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/315782/alphabedtime-by-susanna-leonard-hill-illustrated-by-betsy-snyder/
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!! If you’d like a chance to win a fresh-off-the-presscopy of Susanna Leonard Hill’s new picture book ALPHABEDTIME follow this blog and leave a comment. (NOTE: Must be U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.) Thank you to the publisher for providing the winning book and to Susanna for providing a signed and personalized book plate to go with the book! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER. The winner is announced here.