Perfect Picture Book Friday-123 versus ABC

OK! Raise your hand if you love counting books! Now raise your hand if you love alphabet books! Wait! You raised your hand both times. Don’t you have a favorite? OK! Let’s try again. Counting. Alphabet. You did it again. Well, if you can’t choose then you’re going to double-love . . .

123 vs abc123 versus ABC

Written and Illustrated by Mike Boldt

HarperCollins 2013

Ages: 4-8
Themes: 123! No, ABC! No, 123! No, ABC
“Now, stop it you two! I am in charge of this blog!” said Penny.
Themes: Numbers AND letters!

Synopsis: (from publisher’s website) Numbers and Letters both want to be the stars of this book! And when one alligator (that starts with an A!) and two bears (2 of them!) and three cars (1, 2, 3! A, B, C!) begin to show up, the havoc that ensues is as joyous a romp as a counting book . . . that is, an ABC book . . . has ever been. With vivid illustrations from author-illustrator Mike Boldt, this fresh and funny picture book plays with numbers and letters in the most imaginative way.

Instead of posting the opening text of the book, I have the book trailer. It includes the opening text and will surely lure you to the library or the bookstore.

Resources: is an excellent site for practice with numbers and letters. Just click on a grade level and you’ll find the game categories. With these ABC coloring pages  and these number templates, kids could make their own 123 versus ABC book. And…this would be wonderful for a classroom book. Each student could be assigned a number and letter (just like in the book 1 would go with A, 2 would go with B, etc.) and design their page. Then all the pages could be bound together as a big book for the classroom. I found the blog of a first grade teacher who has a lot of posts about classroom books. HERE is the link.

Why I Like This Book: I know you couldn’t see…but I raised BOTH hands to counting books and BOTH hands to alphabet books. I do love them both. Let’s face it, number and letter books have been done over and over again and there are a lot of choices out there. So in order to rank among my favorites, they have to be unique. Mike Boldt nailed unique and made 123 AND ABC stars of this funny and entertaining book. His illustrations are colorful and lively. The expressions on the faces of the numbers and letters add such personality. I love the way he used blue to denote number-related text and orange to denote letter-related text. So clever! Bottom line…I double-love this book and I think you will, too!

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

36 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-123 versus ABC

  1. Oh, Penny, you are so funny! And this book sounds as delightful as you are. My #1 grandblessing is just beginning to read and #2 is not far behind….this sounds like a must for them.


  2. I saw this on someones 2013 list (that I just read yesterday). CANNOT wait to get my hands on this.


  3. It struck while reading your review, how authors really give teachers excellent and entertaining books, to help teach ordinary subjects. What a unique book! I could see how kids would just love reading this book and taking more interest in numbers and letters. Liked your activities for using the book.


  4. OK, I”m awake now! (Whew, I thought I was sleepy this morning) Bright colors and fun text make this book sound terrific. I too have both hands up repeatedly for this book. I need to read it.

    Thanks for introducing this book and author to us, Penny! 🙂


  5. This looks AWESOME! It reminds me of SHARK VS. TRAIN, which was a big hit on our house. I hope our library has it. Incidentally, ABCya is my five-year-old’s favorite Web site. Lots of learning fun there.


  6. Love your clever colored text in the post, just like the text in the book.
    The PW review “Will make kids laugh from A to 26” – perfect!
    Funny book, fabulous review.


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