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Missing Letters is an alphabet book that invites kids to play with language and build their awareness of letter sounds

A cute yellow sheep coming out of a banana, saying "Baaa."

Missing Letters is not a typical alphabet book—it’s a word game that teaches the importance of each letter by illustrating what happens when they’re removed. The results are surprising as words and meaning are transformed. It can be dramatic as Will becomes ill and play becomes pay, or it can be funny when paints become pants and banana becomes ‘baaa‘.

Having fun with language

The book is accessible to children of any age. Young pre-readers can focus on the missing sounds and compare the illustrations, while early readers can look at the spellings to spot the difference. Missing Letters can also extend beyond the pages of the book by having kids think of their own words that change when you remove a letter. If your children think of their own missing letter word pairs, please share them in the replies on this website or have them enter the Missing Letter Contest and Giveaway.

Cover of Missing Letters, an alphabet book.

About the Creators

Samuel Otten (writer) is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the United States and is currently a professor of education at the University of Missouri. He enjoys music, comic books, and playing word games and number games with his children.

Leon Thomas (illustrator) is from Mid-Missouri and loves art, illustrating, and guinea pigs. He now lives in Atlanta, GA, USA.

If you have children or students who would enjoy making their own missing letter word pair, encourage them to enter the Missing Letter Contest and Giveaway.

Olympia Publishers

Tallis House
2 Tallis Street
London EC4Y 0AB
United Kingdom

Contact the author:

Samuel Otten
Twitter: @ottensam

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