123 Versus ABC

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
123 Versus ABC Book Poster Image
For number or letter fans, this adds up to a fun read.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids can practice counting and learn the alphabet (A is for aligator, for example), identifying animals, objects, people, letters, and words. 

Positive Messages

Letters are valuable and so are numbers. It's fun (and useful) to count things and know the alphabet. Letters and numbers (like people) can work together and solve problems. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both the letter A and the number 1 are upbeat characters trying to figure out if this is a book about numbers or letters. They are friendly, open-minded, and enthusiastic as they try to sort out the answer. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 123 Versus ABC mixes humor and a friendly competition between letters and numbers to equal one very original picture book about counting and reading. Lively illustrations and snappy dialogue between the rivals provide a fun, engaging experience for young readers and parents alike. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 17 years old Written by007SPY April 10, 2014

Kids Call

Better Books But Enjoyable

What's the story?

The letter A and the number 1, the story's main characters and co-narrators, try to figure out whether this is a book about letters or numbers as things to be identified and counted keep mounting. The spirited rivalry continues to the last page and punch line, where they encounter a splotch of red looking for a book about colors.

Is it any good?

123 VERSUS ABC is a fresh, imaginative take on those two classroom classics: counting and learning the alphabet. Loaded with humor and action as people, animals, and other things keep adding up, it's a fast-paced, never static adventure with lots to discover on each spread, such as finding why 18 robots are wearing 19 sombreros (one is wearing two). Author-illustrator Mike Boldt's funny, colorful illustrations are as entertaining as his amusing text.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which are better, numbers or letters? Which do you like better, anyway? Why? 

  • There are lots of alphabet and counting books. What do you think about combining both in one book? 

  • How do the pictures help tell the story? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and counting

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate