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I've been collecting ABC books lately as my youngest is still learning his alphabet and sounds. Considering that I have always felt the main purpose of buying an ABC book is to teach a child to recognise the letters of the alphabet, I find it surprising how many of the more modern books do not display the letters the child is meant to learn. Yes there is a word that starts with that letter, but I feel the letter should be clearly printed on the pages as well, preferably in upper and lower cases. So I've taken to buying stickers and adding letters to many the books that are lacking these. These are also fun for putting the children's names on things, personalising scrap books, or even just letting children label some of their art work. I understand many people buy these to make their own greeting cards as well.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
You get a big box, which is empty except fora thin 14 x 11 inch book of stickers. I felt the box was a waste of packaging, but I understand the purpose is to give you a place to keep loose stickers. I put it in the recycling bin right away though. it takes up too much room to store, we just keep the stickers in the book until ready to use. Some designs have numbers, some do not. All have at least two of every letter, with extras for most commonly used letters like "A" & "S". The number of extras varies for different sets. The sticker book has 10 pages which I will briefly describe. Unless otherwise noted letters will be roughly 1" high by my measurements.
1. Upper case letters and numbers in block pattern, bright colours.
2. Two sets of upper case letters only, one with flowers and one with stars. The letters are close to 3/4 " but adding in the flower or stars brings it close to 1"
3. One of my favourites, although best suited to younger children. This has lovely letters in bright bold colours and a thick blocky shape. The best part is, each letter has an animal that starts with that letter pictured as well. A has an alligator, B has a bear. They've cheated a wee bit with U and X, using a mythical animal, the Unicorn for U and a fox for X but it is a lovely set. This has upper case only, but you get plenty of extras with a total of 94 stickers on this page.
4. Two sets of upper case letters and numbers, one with large polka dots and one with small.
5. Another favourite of mine - this page has safari print with letters having animal skin patterns. There are zebra and tiger strips, leopard and giraffe spots, snake and elephant skin and tortoise shell. 79 stickers. Upper case letters and numbers included.
6. This page has 1" upper case letters and numbers with bold colours and a striped pattern.
7. I found the letters on this page closer to 3/4". This has upper case letters and numbers ina nice zig zag pattern.
8. Upper case letter and numbers in bright colours with white zig zag lines.
9. Upper case letters and numbers, this time with a 3-d effect where the letters are presented as block letters with sides visible.
10. This is the only page to include lower case letters and numbers. There are two designs, one a thinner, very dark purple and the other a thicker shape with bright colours. Each design has upper and lower case letters with plenty of extras letters. These stickers only measure about 1/2 ".
I was able to add letters to two books using only one set as they have at least 2 of every letter. This leaves me one more set with upper and lower case letters. Considering the fact that I have in effect got 4 complete alphabet sets for £4.97, this isn't too bad as I had paid £1.50 for a single set before this. I've also used some to put the children's names on things, and can see letting the children have fun using these as finishing touches for artwork. Finally, I'll add an alphabet line to the computer desk at some point so that when my youngest is able to play educational games that require alphabetical order he can use the handy chart, just as his brother did when younger.
I would have really liked more lower case letters, and one page with numbers only - up to at least 25, but 50 would have been even better. This would have allowed me to create a number line as well on the computer desk, which my son could use for basic addition and subtraction puzzles. I will have to find another set of stickers or draw my own like I did for my oldest. I would have really loved at least one textured set - but I suppose that is asking a bit much. If this set is intended for children just learning the alphabet, the lack of lower case letters will be a real drawback. I have not rated down for this though, because I believe the main purpose of this set is just to personalise scrapbooks, cards, school projects or art work, and as such it is intended for children who already know their letters. The stickers are of a good quality, easy to peel off and can usually be repositioned if needed.