Imagine living in Alphabetown USA, populated by letters from the alphabet which come alive, have their own personality and teach young children word formation. The new Alphabetown USA series of stories from Beaner Books features the titles Where is Ziggy?, Hannah’s Homework and Catena Goes Camping followed this summer by the introduction of Madison’s Magical Adventure.
The Alphabetown USA series was developed by Ryan and Nicole Mayer, a husband and wife team from Rolesville, North Carolina and is illustrated by artist Russ Simmons. The first Alphabetown book, Where Is Ziggy? , prior to its official publication was made available for use in local elementary schools. Where Is Ziggy? went on to receive an Honorable Mention at the 2008 NYC Book Festival for Best New Children’s Book.
Nicole Mayer has a background in psychology and education and her husband Ryan is a former law enforcement officer. However, the real inspiration for Alphabetown USA stories comes from the Mayer’s children.
“Ryan and I turn their ideas into stories and incorporate the educational component,” said Nicole Mayer. “Reading, and the ability to read, is such a critical part of a child’s development that we wanted to create books that were not only fun for young children, but served as an educational tool for parents and teachers as well.” For example, Where is Ziggy? emphasizes teamwork and letter recognition while Catena Goes Camping helps children learn the hard and soft sounds of the letter C and the importance of being prepared.
Various educators have commented on the creativity which Alphabetown brings to teaching, Frederick Johnson, Ed.D., Elementary School Principal, Mary E. Roberts Elementary School in Moorestown, NJ called the Alphabetown book series “a creative concept that introduces children to letter recognition, word formation and life lessons. The illustrations are eye catching and will attract young learners with their bold colors and interesting adventures.” Trinity Episcopal Preschool (Moorestown NJ) director Nancy Whisonart commented “with its bright and beautiful illustrations, Alphabetown books are a perfect way to introduce language skills to young children. We are excited about using these books as part of our curriculum.”
The authors’ children have also influenced Alphabetown USA beyond just story ideas. Socially conscious daughter Hannah inspired her parents to donate a portion of the proceeds of each title to a specific non-profit organization. Where is Ziggy? helps Alex’s Lemonade Stand fight childhood cancer victims, Hannah’s Homework benefits McDonald House of Southern New Jersey, and Catena Goes Camping aids Miracle Flights for Kids.
My kids loved the Alphabetown USA book we were able to check out! Hannah’s Homework teaches about vowels and how important it is to help out others when they need it. They also explain how “y” is sometimes a vowel and sometimes a consonant. The story was really cute and I enjoyed reading it with my younger three kids. The illustrations were super cute, and each letter picture in the book had their own personality! My kids also loved answering the questions in the book and trying to read it to themselves after going through it a few times. Hannah’s Homework is the newest book in the series. I can’t wait to collect all 26! I would recommend Alphabetown USA books to any family who loves reading together!
The Alphabetown USA series is currently available online at Alphabetown, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in select Barnes & Noble and Brilliant Sky retail stores. Books are suitable for children ages 2-8 and recommended retail is $14.95. An introductory pricing special of $10 for each book and $25 when all three book titles are purchased is currently offered on Alphabetown USA and on Amazon.
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a Alphabetown USA Book
Ends 7/20/2012 at 11:59 PM ET. Open to US Only.
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Disclosure: I received 3 Alphabetown USA Books in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own and any claims should be verified on the sponsor’s site.