According to developmental psychologist Judith Hudson, children can start to understand and learn the alphabet at just two years old. However, at this age they cannot learn from flash cards or audiotapes. “Their brains are only at the level of visual aids. So colorful alphabet books are the way to go during this important age for development,”
Reading to very young children also forms a critical part of their early language and cognitive development. "Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory,” explains Betty Bardige, early childhood educator and author.
Set at the zoo, "Alphabet Zoo" takes the Little Hero on a whimsical ABC hunt, learning about animals and letters along the way. Rollicking rhymes and endearing characters make for a fun learning adventure.
Co-founder Gillian FitzGerald explains why personalizing a book can help children to focus and make learning more effective with traditional books. "Having the child as the main character with an individual from his or her real life leads to higher engagement,"
Little Heroes’ popular author Claire McAllister wrote "Alphabet Zoo" with illustrations by Jon Westwood and John Soleas. The author has signed on to write the remaining books for the preschool learning series. "As a mother of a young child and a lifelong book lover, it is my hope to inspire our new generation of children to grow up with the proper skills to love reading as much as I do," said McAllister.
“Alphabet Zoo” is available in hardcover, softcover and as an e-book. As with all Little Heroes personalized children’s books, the name, gender, skin color, hair, eyes and clothes can be customized for each individual child. Future books will be launched in 2013 and will focus on introducing children to numbers, colors and general early childhood development skills.