How Our Alphabet Grew
William Dugan ~ Golden Press, 1972
As a fitting celebration of back-to-school and my son learning to read in earnest, marvel on this Giant Golden Book that any lover of language will fall in love with. As the subtitle implies, this is truly "The History of the Alphabet". Now, I'm not a connoisseur of all things Alphabetum, but I do appreciate a good turn of phrase. If you want to know where all the name calling and the spell checking and the how-do-you-saying began, here's a great place to start.Alphabets did not always exist, nor did writing. But very early in history, man felt the need of some means of putting down his thoughts, of making notes for himself and others, of sending messages to friends and enemies.
From early sign language to moon calendars to cave drawings to symbols... from the Sumerians to the Egyptians to the Phoenicians (these dudes developed the first true alphabet) to the Etruscans... it's all here, ending with a nod to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and handwritten books and paper and the invention of printing (did you know there were wandering printers way back when who roamed Europe shilling their wares to monks and such?)
The end papers even include a "family tree" that tracks the relationship of languages through alphabet development. How cool is that? If my son is to become the book nerd I'm hoping for, this one will surely become indispensable at our house.
Songs We Sing from Rodgers and Hammerstein
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