Al Pha’s Bet

Title: Al Pha’s Bet

Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Illustrator: Delphine Durand

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2011
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 3-6
Themes: Alphabet, Humor


“Because Al loved rhyming, he wanted to make sure some letters rhymed. So he grabbed three letters that rhymed with B. C. D. E.”

Synopsis (from Amazon website):

Wonderful things are being invented every day in Al Pha’s world-fire, the wheel, even shadows! His big chance to be part of history comes when the King announces that the twenty-six recently invented letters need to be put in order. Al makes a bet with himself that he’s the man for the job. Through a series of funny events, he eventually finds the perfect order for the letters, and the king rewards him by naming his creation the “Alphabet.”


Why singing the ABC’s of course!

There is quite a bit of wordplay in this book. Letters that sounds like words. Here is a lesson plan on homophones. Good for K-2.

Why I Like This Book:

This is a hilarious read. I love the concept, as illogical as it is, of creating a story about how the alphabet came to be.  A novel approach to the standard ABC books. I would recommend this book for kids who already know the alphabet and its sounds. I love the wordplay “B” and bee, “T” and tea, “P” and … okay, you get the point. Did you know there are two actual words in the alphabet. I was shocked I never even realized it.

I would recommend this book for storytime or reading at home. I read this book to my girls, my 6-year old appreciated the clever text and humor. My 4-year old well she just kept singing the ABC song while I was trying to read.

After reading this book, you will see the ALPHABET in a whole new light.

This review is part of Susana Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.


15 Comments to “Al Pha’s Bet”

  1. Another great pick. I’ll have to take a look. My kiddo doesn’t know the alphabet yet, so I’ll read it and see what I think.

  2. That sounds so much fun. Why didn’t we think of that first lol?

  3. What a great little story. I’ll definitely look for it. Excellent choice. A super take on an alphabet book. 🙂

  4. Clever, a great new take on the alphabet theme! Thank you.

  5. What fun! I’d be with your 4 year old, singing the ABC song!

  6. What a very clever title and fresh new take on the Alphabet. I really like this choice. Sounds like fun.

  7. This is very clever. Love anything that has a new take on an old story… thanks Darshana.

  8. I love Amy Krouse Rosenthal, but haven’t heard of this one before. Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. It’s nice to see a new spin on an old picture book topic. Thank you!

  10. I am always on the look out for great alphabet books that are original and refreshing in its content – will look for this book. Very nice.

  11. Glad you all liked the book. It is a fun read.

  12. This looks like a wonderful book. I’m dying to know what the two words in the alphabet are! Great choice-I’m adding it to my library list.
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  13. This looks absolutely hilarious. I just put it on hold at our library. I hope it’s available soon.

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