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Alphabet Riddles by Susan Joyce

alphabetriddlesPerusing some of the non-fiction fare for my 5 year old, I stumbled on this great find. My daughter is a new-ish reader, starting kindergarten in a month. We often engage in on-the-fly family games rooted in literacy and math. This book selection served exactly that purpose.

Each page in the book offers a hint in rhyme for each letter in the alphabet. The first letter and last letter of each clue is offered with dashes for each missing letter inbetween.

My daughter read each clue aloud before guessing the answer. Being a new reader, however, she’s still working on fluency. Although she understood the words she was reading, the answer didn’t come to her for at least one clue until after I read it aloud. We discussed how using punctuation cues, expression and intonation can really make a difference. For example, I start with a E and end with and O. I’m a sound that repeats. I bounce back and grow. When you say, “Hello.” I say, “Hel-lo-lo-lo.” What am I? Do you know? Read dryly this clue can be a bit hard to figure out. But try it with expression and it’s a snap.

In addition to guessing the answer to each riddle aloud, I also wrote down the answer while my daughter and I tried to sound it out. Some came easily, like “cup” and “yoyo” while others were a bit more challenging, like “ocean” and “television.”

Alphabet Riddles is a great read aloud choice for early readers. It’s fun and offers plenty of casual opportunities to discuss patterns, sounds and fluency.

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