Traveling through the alphabet with Max is quite an adventure. Our beloved Max, who managed to empty the contents of his room into his pocket in Max Cleans Up, is at it again. This time, his Ants escaped looking for Birthday cake and manage to follow a trail down Max’s pants in search of anything sugary like Cranberry juice, making their way through the house with Ruby in pursuit. Unlike many other alphabet books that highlight a letter with a word on each page, this clever storyline links the letters of the alphabet so seamlessly that it can stand alone as a storybook.
Young children’s literature should have rich stories, stimulating concepts within the content, and a storyline your child can relate to. Max’s ABC introduces large colorful letters on each page but also presents a story full of concepts appropriate for your preschooler. Ants climb “on,” juice is poured “onto,” pants come “off” and “on,” popsicles are “in,” ants try to nibble “through” and a trail goes “underneath.” Words that describe spatial relations are all part of a preschooler’s world as she explores inside and out. And what child isn’t fascinated with bugs?
One reason Rosemary Wells’ books are so popular across age groups is because she pours lots of content into a short text. I have seen a two-year-old and a six-year-old enjoy the same book because as the child gets older he is entertained by the humor and innuendo in her books. So your eighteen-month-old can enjoy the bright colors, vivid pictures and two to three lines under each picture, while your 3-year-old will be drawn in by the whimsical illustrations, letters to learn and adventure.
Parents are often proud when their child knows his letters but the next step is to know that a letter represents a sound. As you are reading Max’s ABC, you can point to the word beginning with the highlighted sound and spend a little more time making that sound. A two-year-old can have fun imitating your sounds while a four or five year old can have fun thinking of other words beginning with that sound too.