I like alphabet books that look at letters in unusual ways. While alphabet books can be used to teach about and reinforce knowledge of letter sounds and shapes, they can lead to so much more--piquing a child’s curiosity, honing her skills of observation, or leading him to use his imagination to see letters in the world around him. As children learn to identify letter names and shapes, we encourage them to search their environment for letters and words. The following books of “found” alphabets do just that, revealing letters found in rocks, plants,and patterns on butterfly and moth wings.
Do you enjoy beachcombing? Leslie McGuirk combed the seashore near her home for years to collect an entire alphabet of rocks shaped like letters for If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet. A word is shown with each letter: illustrated with number-shaped rocks, we see that "A" is for "Addition." "One day many years ago, as I was looking through a microscope at a tropical moth, to my surprise I noticed a tiny, perfect letter F hidden on the wing. I was astounded and wondered if I could find other letters. Perhaps I could even find the entire alphabet in the wings of butterflies and moths! I decided that I was going to be the first to try."
The Butterfly Book is the stunning result of photographer Kjell Sandved's twenty-five year search for butterflies and moths bearing one of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet on their wings. Begun as a game to play while hiking, Krystina Castella and Brian Boyl's search for letters hidden in nature quickly became an obsession and readers are the richer for it. "Nature holds a secret world filled with hidden letters. The best way to find them is to slow down and explore."
Discovering Nature’s Alphabet's beautiful photographs encourage the reader to do so, revealing letters formed by icicles, coral, animals, trees, even tufts of moss. Where will you find the alphabet? Happy searching!