Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sleeping Bear Press has published hundreds of titles since releasing its first children’s book in 1998. It may be best known for its excellent (and seemingly endless) series of alphabet picture books, all featuring an innovative two-tiered format. That means that each letter of the alphabet contains three elements—a beautiful illustration, a short poem (for young readers) and a more extensive sidebar (for older readers). So kids can grow with the books while they grow as readers.
Sleeping Bear has published an alphabet book for each state—from A is for Arches: A Utah Alphabet to Y is for Yellowhammer: An Alabama Alphabet. There are also alphabet books devoted to Canadian provinces (including S is for Spirit Bear: A British Columbia Alphabet) and cities (W is for Windy City: A Chicago Alphabet) and countries (K is for Kabuki: A Japan Alphabet).
But wait, there’s more. Much more. Sleeping Bear is to alphabet books what Pooh-Bear is to honey. You can never get enough, and suddenly you’ll look on a forgotten shelf and find an unexpected gem. The subject matter ranges from ancient Rome (G is for Gladiator) to writing (S is for Story) to fishing (H is for Hook) to Halloween (J is for Jack-O’-Lantern).
I’m proud to have contributed nine sports-themed alphabet books to the mix—covering everything from baseball and football to soccer and stock car racing (my latest is W is for Wrigley: The Friendly Confines Alphabet). I’m also proud of the award-winning S is for Save the Planet: A How-to-be Green Alphabet. But you could build a library of Sleeping Bear alphabet books (everything from A is for Airplane to Z is for Zookeeper), read them all, and find that you’ve ingested a fine education about almost everything.
Here are 75 alphabet books, separated into categories—and this doesn’t even include any of the 50 state books or 11 Canadian province and territory books or, for that matter, any of the dozens of counting books that Sleeping Bear Press has produced. Still, it’s quite a list:
ART, LITERATURE, AND MUSIC
SPORTS AND ACTIVITY
14, H is for Hockey
THE NATURAL WORLD
SCIENCE AND INVENTION
P.S. An addendum, for spring 2018, an alphabet book in rhyme, right on time: