Tomorrow’s Alphabet (Hardcover) by George Shannon; illustrated by Donald Crews. Greenwillow, 1996. ISBN: 0688135048. pp: 56. Ages: 5 and up, gr: k-2
Paperback (New edition April 27, 1999) HarperTrophy. ISBN: 0688164242



"A is for seed" isn’t right — yes it is, tomorrow, when it becomes an apple. This pattern follows for each alphabet letter until "Z is for countdown" (Zero). Each letter is given a two-page spread.with the "is for [word]" on the left and "tomorrow’s [WORD]" on the right being the only text. The print is bold. The watercolor illustrations show detail without being cluttered.


  1. For this alphabet book, you have to think ahead. The makers of the book challenge you to make your own Yesterday’s Alphabet by thinking back. Try it.

  2. Watercolor is fun because you can blur the colors together. Find an illustration in the book that shows this blurring. But you can also make very definite lines with watercolor. Find an illustration that shows lines with no blurring.

  3. Make another double page following the pattern of this book.
    Left side: [letter] is for [your name]; [picture of you]
    Right side: tomorrow’s [illustration]

  4. Make a graph showing how many letters are illustrated by foods, by living things, by objects.

  5. Select any three letters. Use the following as a checklist to tell what changed. (physical properties) Note: vocabulary for older students in parenthesis.
    feel (texture)
    solid-liquid-gas (state of matter)

  6. There are different ways in which things change from one thing today into another things tomorrow. Match each letter’s illustration to one of the ways of changing.
    For younger students, select specific letters and match to:
    • changed by growing
    • changed by a person
    For older students, match to:
    • physical change
    • chemical change
  7. Match the "tomorrow" for each letter to one of these lengths of time:
    1 day
    1 week
    1 month
    1 year
    10 years (1 decade)
    Note: For older students, assume the "day" on the left page for each letter is 01/01/2000; decide on the date for each right page. For example: Research how old an apple tree is before it bears fruit.

  8. George Shannon lives on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, Washington. Donald Crews lives in Brooklyn, New York. Which lives closest to you?

About the Author

George Shannon Donald Crews

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Tomorrow’s Alphabet. Reading Counts: Reading Level 1.3; Points= 1.0
Guided Reading Level D
word count= 170

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