Stuff We Like: Letter Perfect

The ABCs are more than just letters. NYMetroParents editorial director Dawn M. Roode shares products that show how the ABCs can be used to communicate, stylize, and entertain!

Living Pictures

animal abc book



With the nostalgic charm of those iconic gold-spined books of our youth paired with the detailed elegance of an Audubon study, the vibrant illustrations in Susi Martin’s Animal ABC (Firefly; $9.95) will delight readers of all ages—and, of course, help budding readers ages 4 to 6 hone in on their letters. A thoughtful (non-plastic!) gift for the next first birthday party you attend.


Appy Protection

monogrammed phone case

When the kids aren’t otherwise engaged, chances are they’re staking a claim on your mobile device. While we don’t advocate reading them bedtime stories from a screen, there’s no shortage of educational apps and games to occupy them when the need arises. But even as you give up part ownership of your phone to your child, you can and should mark it as yours—with your pick of Otterbox phone cases (similar styles available, $34.95 and up) that protect your phone to the utmost and mark your territory in style.


ABCs for the Hipster Set

abc hipster book

Q is for Quinoa: A Modern Parent’s ABC (coming in October from Overlook Press; $13.95; available for pre-order) will hit the right chord with fans of 2011’s sensation Go the F*#k to Sleep, another so-called “children’s book for adults” that rang true for sleep-deprived moms and dads. Anything but earnest, this offering from Joel Rickett and Spencer Wilson is edgy, funny, and oh-so-of-the-moment. “P” is for “pump and dump”; “w” is for “wheat intolerant”; and “a” is for “au pair.” In this case, “i” is for intelligent impulse buy—pick one up for a friend in the parenting trenches or anyone who is expecting.


Count On It


The Numberlys (Ages 3-7; Atheneum; $17.99) by William Joyce and Christina Ellis is an homage to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis for kids, but for those to whom this means nothing, well, this hardcover newcomer is still a stunner. Friends 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 live in a black-and-white world where there is no alphabet—only numbers; but soon our jaunty heroes don hard hats and wield hammers to build an artful existence that imagines the very things they didn’t know they were missing—letters!—and a wondrous new horizon extends before them. Suddenly, jelly beans and pizza and rainbows of color (all spelled out with the ABCs of their own creating) jump off the page and into our hearts.




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