Parents' perceptions of and goals for alphabet books

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Nowak, Sarah
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University of Guelph

This study examined parents’ goals for reading ABC books with their children and their perceptions of page features. Factor analysis of a questionnaire answered by 225 parents of junior and senior kindergarten students revealed four goals for reading alphabet books. In order of importance as rated by parents the goals were: Learning to Read, Enjoyment and Bonding, Learning from Books, and Soothe the Child. Maternal education, number of ABC books owned and ABC book reading frequency were related to parents’ goals. When viewing ABC pages, parents rated pages with little text, simple illustrations and letter sound-word consistency as more appropriate for fulfilling purposes related to learning to decode than pages with a lot of text, complex illustrations, and letter sound-word violations. Findings highlight that parents’ perceptions of which alphabet book page features are more appropriate for decoding purposes are congruent with previous research and experts’ advice.

early literacy, alphabet books, abc book, alphabet, goals