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The Aleph Bet Story Workbook, Book, and CD Review by Jacque Dixon

Lily and Diana Yacobi
Sarah and David Interactive
PO Box 5894
Englewood, NJ 07631-5894

The Aleph Bet Story Workbook, Book, and CD is a set of instructional materials to help you learn the Hebrew alphabet. This set includes the Aleph Bet Story Book, The Aleph Bet Story Workbook, and the Aleph Bet CD. These resources explain the shapes and sounds of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet using songs and sound effects, visual aids, laughter, brain teasers, puzzles, plays on words, and other attention-getting methods.

These three products work together to help you teach or learn the Hebrew alphabet and are appropriate for young children. The workbook is labeled for "ages 5-95," and I must agree. The instruction is explained well enough that I think any age person could benefit from these resources.

The set introduces you to four characters who lead you through The Aleph Bet Story. The CD provides an audio reading of The Aleph Bet Story. It uses 25 tracks to model the correct intonation and pronunciation of the letters. The book is a great resource if you already know the pronunciation of the letters, but if not, the CD is essential for learning the correct intonation and pronunciation of the letters and the vowel sounds.

The Hebrew alphabet uses shapes, dots, and lines, and the Story Book explains and differentiates the letters well. The alphabet also has specific letters that are similar but go at the end of a word. These letters and their function at the end of words need to be known from the start, and I really like the way all of the letters are explained and given character so that the user can more easily remember their places and functions. Everyday themes and other common items, such as light and dark or clothing, are used to introduce and remind the student of the sounds and reinforce them.

By seeing, hearing, and writing the sounds and forms of the letters, children learn and repeat the letters to themselves. Their interest is kept because it is sheer fun. The music keeps them singing and learning after the lesson has stopped.

The Aleph Bet Story Workbook contains 43 writing exercises that coincide with the letters taught in the Story Book and CD. The exercises provide reinforcement of the shapes of the letters, their sounds, and their placement in the alphabet and Hebrew words.

The three products are a great value. Because you would only need one Story Book and CD, the only cost for multiple children is extra Workbooks.

One fun thing was "reading the book backwards." Since Hebrew is read the opposite from English, the books are read from right to left instead of from left to right. It was great for a visual aid for the children to apply that each time we opened the Story Book or Workbook.

I also like the creative ways the author came up with to reinforce the alphabet sounds and shapes. I like the CD, and I feel it is indispensable for learning the sounds if you do not already know them. The characters on the CD are fun and interesting, if not a little annoying at times. I like the fact that there is an Aleph Bet song on the CD, though it is a little too "rock" for our taste. It is, however, a great learning tool for adults and children.

In searching the products on their website, I was happy to find other coordinating Aleph Bet resources and look forward to continued use of The Aleph Bet Story with our children.

Product review by Jacque Dixon, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2008