Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alpha's Bet by Amy Rosenthal

I planned to write about C D B by William Steig,
the inspiration for Wumbers. But my son had other
plans. He glanced at a few of Steig's letter-number
puzzles, but he wanted to talk about Alpha's Bet.
I said "Arrrr," 
he said "Ssssss. Like Alpha and the snake. 
Say Arrr again." 
We'd still be doing that if I were willing.
Alpha's Bet  has lots of little silly exchanges like 
this that appeal to him immensely.
The alphabet provides a completely predictable
structure for the book and for jokes that my
son understands. He has no interest in the narrative
(which is slight anyway) but the way the protagonist
fits the letters together really works for him.
Of course, an alphabet picture book has little to no 
educative value for an eleven year old who has
known his alphabet backwards since he was three
(Literally. I walked into his room when he was three
to find he had put all the alphabet letters in backwards
order). But the amusement value is high.
And a younger child with autism learning the
alphabet will most likely like the sound jokes 
too. Of course, that child may firmly believe
for years that a man named Alpha figured out 
which order the letters of the alphabet should
be in, but you can explain the distinction between
fiction and non-fiction after your child learns
to read.
-Spectrum Mom

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