Alphabet Drawings

Materials: Drawing paper, markers

Are you familiar with the book Alphabeasties? It’s an alphabet book, with an animal for each letter, but with a twist–each animal is made up of its starting letter. Not only that, but the fonts are chosen to in some way go with the animal. So the hippopotamus is made with a heavy-set H, for example. Here’s O:

Some of the pages, like this one, are gatefold pages (a term we learned during story time at the Eric Carle Museum; while I’m talking about books, if you’re not familiar with their “whole book” method, go read about it).

Because I love all things woolly, I can’t resist showing you the S page.

The sheared portion is created with a different S than the woolly portion.

We’ve had it out from the library quite a few times, and we can all relate to it on different levels. I love types and fonts, and the book is not only clever, but it invites the reader to get to know the characteristics of types and fonts, too. The authors are also graphic designers. Even if you don’t have kids, if you like type and design, it’s a really fun book.

I do have kids, though, and as we were looking through it once again, one of us got the idea to try to make our own alphabet drawings. We decided they didn’t have to be animals, and somewhere along the way the boys decided they could use color. We all made more than one, but here’s just a sampling.

That’s V’s second draft of a volcano. He decided it was okay to use Vs to outline.

N also started with his own initial, but he decided to draw himself:

I began with a balloon, and then realized I’d made it small in comparison with the paper so I added some scenery:

As V began drawing this one, he said, “Some letters look like the words they start.”

That’s an Orange on a Table with a hand reaching for it.

I think we all realized this was harder than we expected, especially if we challenged ourselves not to sketch in an outline first but to just set to, drawing with the letter. It’s fun, though! I tried to make my Bs in the balloon look buoyant, and the basket Bs look a little more linear, and the Cs for the clouds look puffy. The more you look at the Alphabeasties book, the more nuances you can find. Fun stuff.

The boys and I are mulling over making some version of our own alphabet book (not necessarily using alphabet drawings). We do have a toddler right in-house to serve as our intended audience…

4 thoughts on “Alphabet Drawings

  1. donna lee

    I have to look for that book at the library. I enjoy learning new things about books/typeface, etc.

    You guys should make a book for G. Think of how special it would be when she gets older.

  2. Michelle

    Love those! I’ll bet Ella would love that too . . . if I can figure out how to explain it to her. Some days it’s like were speaking entirely different languages.

    Speaking of woolly things . . . Ken says I can’t have sheep because it is too hot here. I disagree. However, I’m certain alpacas would be quite comfy. For now, he’ll only agree to a goat. Which is not wooly and almost defeats the purpose.

  3. Jill

    And what about Gulf Coast Mutants? Not with three heads, they were a mutation of another breed and then were selected for that mutation. I think. Or Navajo Churros? Too hot. Pish. What are men’s suits made of? Wool. They wear them in the summer. Don’t give up!

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