The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town Book Poster Image
Rhyming ABC book is the perfect amount of fun before bed.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Besides learning the alphabet, kids will start understanding the difference between lower case and upper case letters. And they can think about the different sounds letters represent.

Positive Messages

Shows that learning the alphabet is fun. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a rhyming, playful alphabet book that will help teach young kids their letters, and put them to bed with smiles on their faces. The rhyming examples teach the letter names, more than the sounds they represent.

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What's the story?

While kid letters (lowercase) "skitter-scatter" around, the adult letters (uppercase) try to gather them up and herd them to bed. Some need baths, some just get silly, "m" is mopey, "n" is naughty, and so on. Finally, all quiets down, and all we hear are the "zzzzzzz's."

Is it any good?

This is a short, simple, happy alphabet book. Kids will like its easy rhyming cadence and the engaging, humorous illustrations. The letters with their funny little faces really come alive, just like real bouncy children. And clever examples, silly details, and patterns make each page enjoyable.

Parents will have fun reading the story with their early learners before bed. Early readers especially will like searching the pages for letter sounds, and coming up with some of their own. Older kids will enjoy the way the letters are decorated and might feel encouraged to draw their own versions of block letters.  This SLEEPY LITTLE ALPHABET definitely brings a little fun for the whole family.

Dancing, playful letters with spindly little arms and legs and big googly eyes make this book very playful and rambunctious. Done in watercolor, pencil, and collage, the colors are subtle and each page is full of fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ABCs. And they can learn the alphabet together and talk about the sounds each letter makes. 

  • Parents and kids will enjoy searching the pages, and even the cover, together to find things that begin with the featured letter. Then they can think of other words on their own.

  • How do the Mom and Dad letters differ from the kid letters? Why? How is that like the regular letters on the page?

Book details

  • Author: Judy Sierra
  • Illustrator: Melissa Sweet
  • Genre: Alphabet
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Publication date: June 9, 2009
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
  • Number of pages: 40
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning and sleeping

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