Alphabet Explosion! Search and Count from Alien to Zebra
By Patricia Tauzer,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Artistic alphabet search is clever but tricky.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
There are lots of objects that start with certain letters to search for on each page -- 22 As, for starters. It also brings up parts of speach, since not all the things kids search for are nouns.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's nothing objectionable in this book, but its alphabet searching game can be frustrating and too tricky at times, especially for its target audience of beginning readers.
Where to Read
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
The book begins with instructions on how to play the game, what to count, and what not to count. After warning the reader that the game is tricky, pages present each letter of the alphabet with the challenge of finding a specific number of items starting with that letter. The answers are given at the back of the book.
Is It Any Good?
More an offbeat alphabet search game than a story, this book will test even the oldest readers. Young kids may be overwhelmed with the challenge of finding 22 A's or 45 S's. They may even find it impossible since not all the words are nouns, which can be hard for younger kids to understand. The mix of sounds -- hard and soft "c" sounds, for example -- may confuse beginning readers.
The brightly colored, playful illustrations in acrylics and spray paint on watercolor paper are inventive and inviting. The cartoon-like creatures will make kids want to play the game. But clever pictures may not make up for the obtuseness of some images; it's a little too ingenuous for its own good. Thank goodness a list of answers is presented at the back of the book.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about finding the answers on each page and how to not get too frustrated if you don't find as many A's or Q's as are suggested by the author. To help young readers, you can talk about the beginning sounds of words and the difference between the name of a letter and its sound. Since kids will have to search for nouns, verbs, and adjectives, you can also discuss the different jobs of those words. For example, after finding the zipper on the Z page, parents might help lead their child to the next Z by asking what the zebra is doing -- "zipping."
- Author: John Nickle
- Illustrator: John Nickle
- Genre: Alphabet
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
- Publication date: October 31, 2006
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
- Number of pages: 40
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Read
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