As children head back to school, these alphabet and counting books will get young children off to a good start.

“1-2-3 peas” by Keith Baker, 2012, Beach Lane Books. Ages 3-7.

This counting book for young readers features the antics of peppy pea pals as they help readers count from one to 10 and then from 10 to 100 by tens. The active peas splash, snip, and skip their way through the numbers. Brightly colored illustrations show the small pea characters in action and make counting lots of fun.

“One Two That’s My Shoe” by Alison Murray, 2011, Hyperion Books. Ages 2 and up.

The traditional rhyme of “One, two, buckle my shoe” is adapted as a mischievous dog steals a shoe and leads a young girl on a chase through the house and yard. Along the way, the girl and dog encounter three teddy bears, six tulips, and nine chicks and other adventures.

“Apples A to Z” by Margaret McNamara, Illustrated by Jake Parker, 2012, Scholastic Press. Ages 3 and up.

Readers of various ages will learn about the many uses of apples through this alphabet book. From deciduous, to grafting, to nutritious, to varieties, information about apples is shared through colorful illustrations and clear explanations. After wandering through the alphabet, readers will find jokes and expressions about apples and fun apple activities

“A B C ZooBorns!” by Andrew Bleiman, Illustrated by Chris Eastland, 2012, Beach Lange Books. Ages 2 and up.

Colorful photographs and descriptive phrases take readers on an alphabet tour of adorable newborn zoo animals, including a flamingo, impala, otter, and wombat. Even the youngest of readers will enjoy the closeup photographs and may even learn about some new creatures like the dhole and the nyala.

“Apple Pie A B C” by Alison Murray, 2010, Hyperion Books. Ages 2 and up.

A hungry dog smells the apple pie in the oven and desperately wants a doggie snack. His apple pie antics follow the pie from oven to cooling as he longs for a bite. This alphabet book not only features each letter, but also tells the story of an ingenious dog’s determination.

Those who read to young children will enjoy seeing the youngest of readers interact with these simple texts by counting or repeating the alphabet. Counting and alphabet books are not just for young readers, but can be enjoyed by readers of many ages.

Reviewed and photo by Elizabeth Dobler

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