Children's LiteratureWhile most series that focus on the alphabet and the sounds that the letters make are badly done and pretty boring, the "Alphabet Friends" series is the exception. The stories are interesting. The photographs feature kids and, for the most part, enhance the story. The format of each book is the same. The book opens with a note to parents and educators. It then shows the letter in both its capital and lowercase form. If a letter has multiple sounds they are presented. Then the book does something a little different. It shows the letter at the beginning, within, and at the end of a word. For example, the letter "x" is used in X-ray, taxi, and mailbox. The text is presented in a rebus format that will really give those pre-readers a boost. I found the "Fun Facts" section really fascinating. I learned something from each book, such as "X-rays are very important in medicine because, using X-rays, doctors can photograph the inside of a person's body." These facts are written at a much higher level than the text, but they can be used by parents and educators to extend the lessons. In the back, under "To Read More," one section relates to the featured letter and another section relates to the Fun Facts. The book closes with a test involving a list of the words using the featured letter at the beginning, middle and end. It really is a very good way to learn the alphabet sounds and learn how to read, while and even have a little fun finding all the words in the text. 2004, The Child's World, Ages 4 to 7.