The Alphabet

Having small children, I feel as if I’m swimming in the alphabet most days. By the time we had taught kid one how to learn to read and write the alphabet, it was time to begin teaching kid two. In fact, when I’m rocking my son to sleep each night, I always sing the alphabet to him. As a side note, did you ever notice that Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star and the alphabet are the same tune with different words?

Of course, as writers, our job is to take that alphabet and corral those twenty-six letters into the proper sequence to build our stories. Without the alphabet, there would be no way to pass on our stories other than the spoken word.

I’ve come across some cool alphabet related “stuff” recently. First is this awesome song by the band Barenaked Ladies titled Crazy ABCs. We’ve heard this on XM Radio and got a big kick out of it. I couldn’t find video of BNL singing the song, so here’s a video of a couple kids performing it. I think they did a pretty good job if it.

And just today, on “The Big Idea” on John Scalzi’s blog AlphaOops! H is for Halloween by Althea Kontis. Here’s a synopsis from Barnes and Noble:

H gets top billing — but a stubborn B has something scary to say — as the inside-out alphabet gives a howl-arious Halloween performance.

Ack! It’s time for the show, and A isn’t ready. But then again, Halloween can only start with one letter, no matter how the A-B-Cs normally go! The misbehaving alphabet is back, and there’s no telling who will take the stage next. Z for zombie? P for pirate? Will X think of something good in time? Neon-bright, comically detailed illustrations show a cacophony of costumed letters, each with a mind and personality all its own. Along the bottom, tiny pumpkins arrange the players in proper order, making this alphabet story letter-perfect for Halloween.

I haven’t read this one yet, but to read more about how the author came up with the idea for the book, head over to John Scalzi’s blog.

13 thoughts on “The Alphabet

  1. I only realized a couple of years back that Twinkle Twinkle and A B C D followed the same rhythm, and was dumbfounded. I got kicks out of watching this video too. 🙂 The kids did an amazing job. I got good laughs on ‘Noooo It isn’t’ 😛

  2. Never heard that song but it is very clever! I shall look out for the BNL version although I agree the kids were sweet!

    On a bit of a tangent, my graphic designer son pointed out to me today why the ‘Amazon’ logo is so clever – because the arrow under the word ‘Amazon’ goes from A to Z – which I had never noticed – very clever! Subliminally saying, ‘we stock everything from A to Z’.

  3. The kids did an amazing job. Interesting tidbit from Diane. I never noticed that before. It seems like there’s another children’s song to the same tune as the alphabet song and Twinkle Twinkle. Can’t think of what it is off the top of my head.

  4. Wow! Those kids are *awesome*! They are soo much better at spelling than I am 🙂

    Leap Frog has a really great alphabet sounds video that my little nephew loves…he’s 15 months old and knows all his letters and sounds now…beware…the video is super repetitive and will suck you in…you’ll be dreaming it after watching the thing three times (but I guess that is why it works so well on the kids :p)

  5. It seriously took me until my third kid to realize ABC and Twinkle, Twinkle had the same melody.

    They Might Be Giants has two really cool DVDs and accompanying CDs. The first is Here Come the ABCs and the other is Here Come the 123s. They have more, but those are the only two I own.

    Two HUGE thumbs up on those. I even put a few of the songs on my mp3 player so I can listen while I work out.

  6. Okay, I’m pathetic. I have a 7-year old and just now I realize that Twinkle Twinkle and the alphabet song use the same tune. For being a writer, I’m not very bright or observant! 🙂


  7. these kids are doing a great job!

    and yes, i agree that there are much better options than “cat for c”
    i found some of the examples rather unfortunate though… like knick knack (whatever) for the letter k – it’s jsut plain wrong because you don’t say the k aloud. it sould have been like… kudos.
    and for j – jalapeno?
    it *is* a fancy word, but not suitable to illustrate j when you don’t usually say [h] for a letter j.

    if you see just what i’m at… ?

    but i might be wrong, for in the hungarian language basically you just write everything just the way you say them. there are certain rules and people do make mistakes, but spelling is not as a big deal as in the english.
    with hungarian spelling you just can’t go that really wrong.

  8. as for twinkle twinkle and the abc song – wow, yes, really.

    you know we don’t have any of them. the first time a hungarian comes accross these songs is when s/he starts learning english.

  9. yeah, I recall one girl, having come from the UK – she asked us, hungarians about the spelling of a couple of english words.
    i think she was writing a letter, to her boyfriend perhaps, or to her parents, and was unable to get ‘especially’ right.
    anyway, i love english :))

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