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Book Review: My Preschooler Loved “ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to read 55 words”

Literacy has always been my passion. I’ve always been moved by written expression and am definitely a lifelong learner. It’s truly why I wanted to and became a teacher.

When I first started teaching, I loved kindergarten because it was in those early literacy moments where light bulbs began to go off and connections were being made learning to read. With my own children: they have always been read to, have always witnessed their parents reading for pleasure, and luckily, I have 3 very high readers so far. But Violet, my three-year-old fourth child, is just beginning.  

Environmental print is usually my indication that I have reading-ready kids. You know, when they point out your grocery store by name or McDonald’s or Target. I will never forget driving down the road when Violet was just barely two-years-old and hearing a little song from the car seat in the back, “Nationwide is on your side,” as we passed their insurance office. 

Thinking about teaching those kindergartners of my past, a crucial piece for early readers is letter sounds. Enter a new tool in my toolbox: ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to read 55 words , a 42-page interactive paperback, by Stefanie Hohl.

You can find ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to read 55 words by Stefanie Hohl in your local bookstore or on Stefanie, a mother of five, has her masters of education and has been teaching children to read for years. Through her experience teaching preschool, homeschooling, and running storytime at a bookstore, Stefanie has developed this simple Learn-to-Read picture book.

Violet loves reading books, so she was excited to see a new one!

There’s a quick intro with a how-to guide to best utilize the book the way it was intended which is helpful for seasoned moms and teachers as well as first timers. 

“This method of learning to read uses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles to teach phonemic awareness. Your child will see the letter, hear the sound it makes, and move his or her body, thereby making concepts age appropriate and easier to retain.”

In other words, each letter sound has an associated movement that your child will perform. The bright, animal-themed illustrations demonstrate the action associated with each letter sound, making it easy for your preschooler to learn the movements and the sounds.

I let Violet explore the book on her own first and she immediately noticed the ant on the front cover and started saying ”ant!” which was a perfect starting off point for us.

I turned to the inside of the book and showed her the page where the ant was and asked her what she does when she sees an ant.

She said, “ahhhhhhh” like she does when she’s afraid of a bug! So I followed along with the hand movement in the book for the letter A and told her to put her hands in the air like she’s scared. She easily followed along.  

The next page she was interested in was the M with the monkey. The hand motion sound helper is to rub your hand on your tummy and say, “mmmmmm.”  

Lily, my first grader, heard this going on and wanted to join in and read along as well which I loved! I noticed that not only is this book good for teaching letter sounds, it’s a good tool for reinforcement as well. 

Lily and Violet both acted out the letter C sounds “Make you hands like claws and Scratch [like a cat]:”

Lily continued reading to Violet and imitating the sound actions for reading the 3 letter words. Both girls thought it was a lot of fun. The blending the sounds into words piece will come later for Violet once we get through and repeat letter sounds and actions for a little while.

The letter sounds are grouped into four letters at a time through the 42-page paperback. The letter groups are then blended together to read 55 three-letter words total. There is a comprehensive listing of the alphabet at the end with the associated animal movement pictures and a listing of the 55 words at the end for easy review.

I love that the author gives step-by-step ways to get the best use of the book, the animal pictures are colorful and engaging to children and adults, and its ease of use is amazing! I simply handed the book to my three-year-old and she was already looking through, asking questions, excited about the movements. Teaching phonemic awareness isn’t always easy, but this book uses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic techniques and is something that can help many different children learn to read. Overall, I was thrilled with this new teaching tool in my toolbox for early readers!  

As a mom and a teacher, I recommend having this book in rotation with your little learners! You can find ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to read 55 words by Stefanie Hohl in your local bookstore or on

Stefanie Hohl, author of "ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to read 55 words," is a fellow contributing writer on Pittsburgh Moms Blog. However, the views expressed in this book review are my own.

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