While in board-book format, this and its companion title, Number Work, are really interactive teaching tools for preschool and primary-aged children to use with a knowledgeable adult.
Here, letters are grouped not alphabetically but by the way they are written. Lowercase “b” and “h” are paired since they both include a down stroke followed by a curved line when formed. Above each letter is the sound the letter makes, not what the letter is called. Goat is accompanied by the text “guh” to describe the hard “g” sound that starts the word. Each letter is embossed with a rough texture and includes an arrow showing beginning writers how to trace the letter. All the letters are listed and accompanied by simple, recognizable pictures of items that help put the letter and letter sound in context. An illustration of an ant hovers near “a,” and a dog tags along for “d.” The two introductory pages offer some simple guidance for parents written by the authors, Montessori experts, who also include a page of lines and curves for youngsters to trace even before they tackle the letters. The final spread builds on what has come before and allows young learners to try the letters over again in a smaller size font. Number Work uses the identical, tall format and the same tactile feature for writing numbers. Taking children from the concrete to the abstract, the authors provide objects for children to count and then reveal the numeral on the verso.
A few small but important pieces of information are missing for unversed parents, such as how letters and numbers should be traced with one stroke, but parents and teachers who have educated themselves in the Montessori method will find these volumes to be both handsome and helpful. (Board book. 3-6)