Recently my friend shared with me a literary discovery called Sleeping Bear Press Books. Here is what she had to say.
"I ran across these books a few years ago, and absolutely loved them then. In fact I bought my kids the Ohio ones and my niece and nephew the Illinois ones. Basically they are alphabet books, but go so far beyond what most alphabet books do. They have "2 levels of text" - one is something a 3-4 year old can understand. The other is intended to be read by a mid-later elementary aged student (think 4th-6th grader). Having kids a wide variety of ages, these books appeal to me for obvious reasons.
The Ohio one is B is for Buckeye. The numeric Ohio one is C is for Cardinal Numbers. I have started my oldest reading a variety of the states - so last summer when we went to Michigan - she read the M is for Mitten. It gave her a taste for Michigan in an interesting manner - without being overwhelming. They are picture books, but interesting for adults and kids alike. Recently she read the L is for Lobster: Maine alphabet book.
The thing I like about them - is it exposes them to a wide variety of vocabulary (as well as all the great geography information). The Maine one had vocabulary like gregarious, crustacean, representative, senator (words they are going to run into again in their reading adventures). And I believe all of the state ones are AR books, and since they are nonfiction - I am encouraging my oldest to read them.
They have also really cute other books like P is for Princess or K is for Kick (the soccer alphabet one) or H is for Homerun. They make excellent gifts - Amazon sells them for $11-12 for a hardcover book. I think they have one we got my father-in-law called I is for Inventor - so almost any topic imaginable. Again - all have the "two level" text."
I was thrilled to rediscover this collection. You will find P is for Pilgrim on my Thanksgiving Book List, coming up very soon.