ABC versus 123 by Mike Boldt is a fun-filled alphabet/counting book hybrid, in the vein of Kelly Bingham's Z is for Moose. The number 1 and letter A each arrive thinking that the book should be about them. Their argument continues as one alligator, two bears, three cars, and so on show up. Is it about the letters or is it about the numbers? It's about both, obviously. And by the time 26 zebras show up, well, it's quite a party. And the numbers and letters each recognize that perhaps there is a place for the others.
Kids will enjoy the contentious interactions between the numbers and letters, as well as the zany party atmosphere that arises as the animals and things start to arrive. This is definitely a book that takes advantage of having a single author/illustrator, as the text is wholly integrated with the comical illustrations. Like this:
"That settles it then. Since this is 1 Alligator, this is a book about Numbers," says the 1.
"Did you hear what you said? Alligator. That starts with the letter A. Just look who else is showing up now," says the A.
Here the "1", "A" "Numbers" and second "Alligator" are all shown in larger, colored text. This repeats throughout the book, with the numbers and object description words shown in various colors.
The 1 and the A are both portrayed as lively and full of personality. The other creatures and things are all brightly colored and actively moving about. 123 versus ABC is brimming with energy.
It's always nice to see an alphabet book that doesn't take itself too seriously. And it's nice to see a counting book that goes up to 26, instead of the usual 10. But what really makes this book fun are the bouncy characters, bright colors, and energetic interactions. Recommended for home or school use.
Publisher: HarperCollins (@HarperChildrens)
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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