ABC Bunny by Wanda Gág

Cover of ABC Bunny by Wanda Gag

University of Minnesota Press released the board book version of ABC Bunny by Wanda Gág in April 2022. Originally published in 1933, I was surprised to learn that it had not been published as a board book until now! It is an ideal book for the board book style and will age well with kids, making it a good addition to your own bookshelves.

ABC Bunny Earns Its Space On Your Bookshelf

I’m excited to add this book to my permanent collection. Although my kids are older, I think the artwork is fun to study at any age and I love the idea of having a small set of baby-friendly board books available for visitors and future grandchildren.

Reading ABC Bunny with Babies:

According to Michigan State University, babies birth through four months have an easier time focusing on high contrast images – like black and white contrasting images. These image may help infant vision development. The Department of Health’s Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center also recommends choosing books with high contrast images until around six months. With its black and white drawings and bright red alphabet letters the pages of this book would be appealing to babies.

Letter M of ABC Bunny Book by Wanda Gág
Babies focus best on high contrast images

ABC Bunny For Pre-Readers:

The rhyming text makes it an easy book for toddlers and preschool kids to memorize so they can “read” it, too. Scholastic Books suggests this memorizing phase is an indication that your child is ready to take the next step on their reading journey. When you see this happening, Scholastic offers fun ways to build on their interest in reading here.

To facilitate memorization, I like to use songs. Wanda’s sister, Flavia Gág, wrote a nursery song using the Lyrics of ABC Bunny. You can hear it sung on YouTube Here.

Grade School Fun

My grade school kids also appreciated the way the text flowed. They are also big enough to dig deeper into Wanda Gág, herself.  Of course, you can add Gág’s most famous book, Millions of Cats, to your kids shelves by grade school. Also, on my wish list are her fairytale books and Gone is Gone.

Find these books on Bookshop.org.

Explore Printmaking

The MIA has a collection of Wanda Gág’s artwork, including many of the lithograph drawings created for ABC Bunny. Unfortunately, these are not currently on display, but you can see them online here. It’s fun to see that each picture had to be drawn backwards, including letters and words, so they would print correctly to the page! This would be fun to pair with your own printing project. Try these ideas from Highpoint Center for Printmaking.

Visit the Wanda Gág House

Wanda Gág House, 226 N. Washington St., New Ulm, MN 56073
Located in her childhood home in New Ulm, Minnesota, the Wanda Gág House Museum is traditionally open from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October. Admission is $5/pp. Families can choose to explore on their own or take a 45-minute guided tour.

For Adults and Teens

Children’s book geeks like me or those interested in the art of illustrating may want to take a deep dive into Wanda Gág. We are so lucky to have a ton of information in the Twin Cities. To start with, Growing Pains – her journal from about age 15-25 – is available through Hennepin County Library.

The Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature

The University of Minnesota maintains a collection of materials related to children’s books and authors. Learn more about materials related to Wanda Gág, including ABC Bunny here.

Then listen to this podcast from KFAI

KFAI’s MinneCulture

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I received a copy of The ABC Bunny Board Book from the University of Minnesota Press to facilitate this review.

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