A Review of Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet

A picture of Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet
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Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet is rich with colorful illustrations and textures. Through rhymes and interactivity, children can learn about all kinds of animals...even some you may never have heard of before. Find out more in this complete book review of Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet.


  • Beautiful illustrations on every page
  • Pop-up alphabet wall poster included
  • Interactive push and pull tabs make some animals move
  • Every page is interactive with a texture to feel or tab to pull


  • Thick pages can cause the book to pull away from the spine over time
  • Flaps are thicker than your average book, but not strong enough to withstand tears from small hands.
  • Too heavy to take with you when you're on the go


  • Hardcover, 20 Pages
  • Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Published April 8, 2008
  • ISBN 1416955658

The Complete Book Review of Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet

Any time I see a Matthew Van Fleet book, we have to buy it. Like all of Van Fleet's books, Alphabet uses interactivity to engage kids in the story.

The cover of the book features many different animal textures, which spell the book's title. Once inside the pages, you begin reading about "Scaly green Alligators" and "Bristly yellow Bees. One alligator has a tail that is textured for children to feel. One of the bees has a rough yellow body of Velcro. The story continues, in order from A to Z, until you end on "Snoring silky Zorillas fall to sleep at last."

There's something interactive on every page of the book, whether it's an interactive pull tab that makes baby kangaroos bounce or a scratch and sniff stinkbug that really stinks. Textures include a scratchy cougar tongue, an elephant's wrinkly body, a velvety giraffe, a tamarin's hairy tail and many more.

The book has many pluses that make it a good addition to your child's library. But it also has some drawbacks to consider.

Young readers will need supervision because the flaps can tear. The whole book has thick pages, but the flaps are thin enough to be torn and do begin to wear out after you've read the book many times.

You'll also want to be aware of the page with the clam. The clam shell flips up so you can feel the squishy inside. However, the clam shell is so thin, it doesn't take much to rip the paper.

I tore ours the first time we read the book. Tape fixes it, but you'll still need to be careful every time you read this page.

To give every animal his own letter, there are also some obscure animals within the book. For this reason, you may run across some animal names you're not sure how to pronounce. "Quahog" and "Uacaris" stumped us at first.

The good news is you can look them up using an online dictionary that also has audio samples of the word. That way, you can hear the word's correct pronunciation.

For pre-readers there are plenty of pictures of animals to look at on each page of Alphabet as you read to your child. For budding readers, the rhymes are fun and, despite a few animal names being a challenge to learn at first, the rest of the book is easy for kids to conquer as they learn to become a confident reader.

As an added bonus, there's a pop-up wall poster of the alphabet in a back pocket of the book. You open a letter flap and an animal pops up.

The letter M flap pops up a macaw and also shows a millipede and a mushroom. This is a delicate poster, though, so you'll want to help younger children open the flaps. We've got a few pop-up animal parts that were accidentally ripped off the poster by tiny hands.

This product was purchased for review from an online bookstore. Total cost with tax was under $15.