123 Versus ABC Book Poster Image

123 Versus ABC

For number or letter fans, this adds up to a fun read.

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Not applicable

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. 

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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.

Families can talk 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

Author:Mike Boldt
Illustrator:Mike Boldt
Topics:Cars and trucks, Dinosaurs, Numbers and letters, Robots, Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:June 25, 2013
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Available on:Nook, Hardback

This review of 123 Versus ABC was written by

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

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

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Z Is for Moose Book Poster Image
    Crazy Moose mayhem in freshest alphabet book in years.
  • 1-2-3 Peas Book Poster Image
    Super-appealing counting book with 100 cute peas in action.
  • Dr. Seuss's ABC Book Poster Image
    Delightful interplay between letters and drawings.

For kids who love picture books and counting

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written by007SPY April 10, 2014

Kids Call

Better Books But Enjoyable
What other families should know
Educational value