Mid-Century Modern Kids' Books: Paul Thurlby's Alphabet

Every kid needs at least a few alphabet books and Paul Thurlby's Alphabet should definitely be one of them.

Alphabet books almost always come with the same letter/word match ups: A is for apple, B is for bee – which is a terrible example for kids, "This B is a letter, this bee is an insect." But Paul Thurlby's Alphabet is almost completely different than the expected alphabet – although D is for dog and R is for rabbit are pretty standard. But, I don't think you'll find another book where A is for awesome and S is for space.

This is also the only alphabet that I've see where X isn't for xylophone  – which is another terrible example for kids because X usually doesn't make a Z sounds, except in xylophone.

After your kid has mastered whatever standard alphabet book you're using to teach them letters, shift to Paul Thurlby's Alphabet. The illustrations are gorgeous and the letter/word match ups are unexpected – which is good for the parent who has to read the book 100 times and the kid who is learning what letters really look/sound like.


  1. That book looks really cool...and amazingly mid-century for a book that came out in 2011. I would have completely thought it to be an old book, but "awesome," "graffiti," "karate" and "yoga" weren't everyday words in the 50s and 60s like they are today. :)

  2. I absolutely love it! And I may never have seen it, had you not shared it here - so, thank you.