Thursday, May 28, 2009

Abigail Spells by Anna Alter - Book Review and Giveaway

"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

Related Links:
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

• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• 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
Three more ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4):
1st extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
2nd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
3rd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.


Pam said...

What a cute book. We never had spelling bees when I was growing up but I wlould've loved it!

melacan at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

What fun! My three picks: carrot, book, truck. Thanks.

gahome2mom at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

twitter @gahome2mom
Win Abigail Spells @iambrimful

gahome2mom at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

From your daughter's response it sounds like it would make a great gift for a young child! Please enter me!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

katrina said...

3 images used in Abigail Spells word matching game is book, bell and cookie.

LadyD Piano said...

yes, the illustrations are stunning!
bell, cookie, clock
follow and blog giveaway

Lessons at LadyDpiano dot com

katrina said...


Cindy said...

What a neat book! I love the lesson in the book that winning is not everything. I like the characters of a young chicken with a bear as a best friend. Please enter me. I would love to have this book for my grandkids.

The matching game was fun! 3 images were carrot, clock and truck.


Cindy said...

I follow your blog!

I also subcribe by email.

I also follow you on Twitter.


Kaizen Fashion Project said...

My kiddos would love this we play spelling bee at home!

heatheranne99 at hotmail dot com

Kristi said...

I think my son is just on the brink to learn how to start reading! Would love to win this! Thanks also for the links to the abigail spells site.

I already follow your blog.

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Alice H said...

Three of the images in the word matching game are a clock, a cookie, and a carrot. Thanks! alicedemskehansen at

Alice H said...

I subscribe via google reader - alicedemskehansen at

KR said...

I like the Spelling Journal idea on the website.


Sara said...

I love watching the spelling bee on TV! I was in a spelling bee in 3rd grade and I won at my grade level! I still remember it and have the plaque!
saradavis1 at gmail

Kara said...

I feel your pain - my word was "sophomore" :). Looks like a cute book!!

Donnetta said...

My tree year old would love this. She tries to spell words and put letters in order.

Nadi said...

This would be perfect for my pre-K boy who is learning to spell right now.

treflea4 at gmail dot com

valerie2350 said...

judybrittle said...

I follow on Twitter and tweeted

A Reader said...

I think this would be a great book for my SD who struggles with spelling issues.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Sara said...

My daughter has just begun to love spelling everything. She'll ask me to spell just about everything these days. I'm sure she'd love this book and I'd love it for her since I never was a good speller!

Andrea said...

Cookie, book, carrot

andreaneville AT comcast DOT net

Courtney said...

Three images would be: a cookie, a bell and a clock. Thanks for the giveaway!

Courtney said...

I follow you on twitter and tweeted:

Staci A said...

This sounds like a great book. Growing up, I was a good speller, but the moment I was put on the spot, I froze. I'd love to share a book like this with my son!

Renee G said...

This looks like a darling book. I love how Anna showcases her creative process for writing/illustrating this book on her website.

The Allen Family said...

I don't know why, but I never participated in a spelling bee. I actually can't recall if they were just never organized in my school or I didn't pay attention enough to be involved. But I think I would have enjoyed them, I actually am often finding spelling errors in books, newspapers, whatever...

Carlene said...

Please include me in your giveaway. I would love to share this great book with my grandson.

oona. said...

We would love to share this book with my daughter's teacher and kindergarten class for the end of the year!
Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

Kristie said...

Three of the imagages were truck, bell and cookie.

khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Gwendolyn B. said...

This would be a great book for my 5 yo niece! I like that it stresses helpfulness and "demphasizes" winning. Competition has it place, but learning is for everyone! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Here's my Tweet:

Anonymous said...

who ever thought spelling could be so much fun. What a great idea for a picture book. My kids loved the word matching game with the Bell, Cookie & truck).
Thanks for sharing
cabadov at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Just tweeted about your great review & giveaway:
cabadov at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

a cookie, a carrot and a book are 3 of the images.

Secret Burkheiser said...

I love this book. My picks are cookie, bell and carrot.


Bree said...

As an elementary school teacher, I'd love to read this to my students!

auntrene said...

My niece just was in the spelling bee for her class. it was practice for next year when there will be a spelling bee for her entire grade.. She loved it.. What fun!! the book sounds wonderful.
Thanks for the chance.

Katrina said...

I personally hated spelling, I still do! This is a great book for kids to teach them that spelling is not that bad. Spelling bees can be fun.

windycindy said...

Happy June! I have loved to spell!
It was my best subject. This book would be wonderful for my niece and nephew! Three of the images used in the word matching game are a ~
book, truck and clock!
Thanks, Cindi

windycindy said...

I am a fan/follower of your blog!
Again, many thanks.....Cindi

windycindy said...

Also, I followed you on Twitter!
Thanks very much.....Cindi

Amy B. said...

Cookie, book, carrot.
Thanks for the carrot!
Amy B.

Pamela S said...

I love books that are both educational and fun. Thanks.


Diana D said...

I have two young grandsons and this book would be ideal for them. I love educational tools.

Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

Lauren said...

Three images used in the matching game are bell, carrot, and truck!

mrsshukra said...

Book, carrot, bell!
This looks like a really fun book!
delilah0180 (at) yahoo (dot) com

dag888888 said...

Book, carrot, cookie!
Thanks, fabulous book!
dag888888 a yahoo dot com

dag888888 said...

I follow via google reader! Thanks!
deilah0180 (at) yahoo (dot) com

♥ LLL with Leslie ♥ said...

I wish there was a spelling bee when I was in school . I loved to spell =)


♥ LLL with Leslie ♥ said...

I follow you on twitter (laughwithleslie) and I tweeted =)

Madame Coin said...

as a kid I did spelling bees, both individual and team (did you know there are team spelling bees? You write the words instead of spell them out loud)

I went around spelling everything in sight from 6th grade until high school. It was so fun!

Terra Heck said...

Three images used in the game are a truck, a clock, and a cookie.

tina reynolds said...

the three images are truck bell and clock thanks

Anonymous said...

Bell Book Cookie!
yeloechikee at hotmail dot com

Xenia said...

Cute! Three of the images I found were book, clock and cookie.