"But there was one thing Abigail liked to do better than anything else. More than anything, Abigail loved to spell." - Abigail Spells by Anna Alter
Today is a big day for spellers all over the nation. The Scripps National Spelling Bee championship contest is underway in Washington, D.C. The finals will be shown this evening at 8 p.m. ET on ABC for those interested in tuning in. I'll be watching to see who wins. I'm rooting for all the children, but especially those living in the Midwest!
I never advanced far in spelling bees as a child. Spelling I could manage. Spelling bees, not so much. My stage fright always got the best of me. I clearly remember one school bee and the word I messed up. I failed miserably in spelling a simple word, L-A-D-D-E-R. I spelled it like this: L-A-T-T-E-R. Yes, I knew right away I misspelled the word and felt awful.
Speaking of spelling bees and stage fright, children's book author/illustrator Anna Alter has a spectacular new book out called Abigail Spells. A chicken named Abigail possesses many talents including spelling. She spells words constantly and prepares for the upcoming school spelling bee with help from her best friend, George the bear. After practicing words like A-P-P-L-E and C-L-O-C-K, she feels ready for her big day. But, she finds out quickly that spelling in front of a crowd in a large auditorium isn't easy. Luckily, her friend George encourages her and offers her his friendship at exactly the right moment.
Abigail Spells perfectly introduces young children to the concept of spelling as well as emphasizing the importance of friendship while de-emphasizing the importance of winning. The simple layout with black text on an uncluttered background makes it easy for children follow along and spell with Abigail. Alter's charming illustrations of a scarf and flower wearing chicken and her colorful animal friends make the book cheery and captivating. My preschool daughter adores this book and aspires to be a great speller like Abigail. Thanks to this book, she now runs around the house spelling words off everything in sight--words in the newspaper and letters on cereal boxes. She also loves to follow and spell each of the words Abigail spells in the book. She likes the title page chalkboard illustration and tries to figure out what each word spells using clues from the chalk drawings. I'd recommend the book for ages 4-8; teachers may find it useful in their classrooms.
For more spelling fun, visit Anna Alter's website. It is full of interesting tidbits and resources. Readers can see the steps involved in making the book and print out coloring pages. Definitely worth a visit.
Abigail Spells by Anna Alter. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (April 2009); 40 pages; ISBN 9780375856174
Anna Alter - Author Website (includes games, curriculum guide, spelling activities and coloring pages)
Painting Bunnies: Anna Alter's Blog
Blue Rose Girls Blog - Learn about the creation of Abigail Spells
Scripps National Spelling Bee Website
Blog Tour Sites
Several other book blogs are participating in this week's Spelling Bee Week Blog Tour. Enter to win copies of Abigail Spells at their sites as well.
• Monday the 25th: MotherReader Contest ended
• Tuesday the 26th: A Patchwork of Books Ends 5/31
• Wednesday the 27th: Katie's Literature Lounge Ends 6/5
• Thursday the 28th: Brimful Curiosities Ends 6/15
• Friday the 28th: Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup Ends 6/5
Win a copy! Knopf Books for Young Readers has kindly offered to give away (3) copies of Abigail Spells to three Brimful Curiosities readers.
To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post or name three images used in the Abigail Spells word matching game at www.abigailspells.com.
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• Contest is open to US and Canada
• Contest ends on Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random
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2nd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
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