The ABCs of D&D

Review of The ABCs of D&D!

The ABCs of D&D is a fun way for us tabletop gamers to start sharing our hobby with our kids and teach about the ABCs!  I received this book as a gift from a good friend after kiddo (now 4yo) was born, and we’ve read it many times since.  I’m happy to be sharing this review with you today, and I hope you enjoy it too!

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What is The ABCs of D&D about?  

The ABCs of D&D by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland is very much what it says in the title – it is an ABC book that uses D&D terms (from Adventure to Owlbear to Ravenloft)!

However, it’s also a bit more than an ABC book.  

It has adorable artwork and tons of references and nods, both in the wording and the artwork, to bits and pieces found through D&D beyond just the alphabet word used.  It focuses on words and pictures that give an idea of adventure, self-confidence, and imagination while also taking some terms (like Ravenloft) that might be a little scary and making them accessible for kids.  It shows kids dressing up as their characters, going on adventures, and picturing themselves as their heroes in the game as they face and overcome challenges while having fun in the world of D&D.

credit: Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland, Wizards of the Coast

Who would The ABCs of D&D be great for?

The ABCs of D&D is a great book for families or teachers to read to younger children who are learning their ABCs and picking up new vocabulary.  The format and art are all geared towards keeping younger kids engaged and connecting with them.

It’s also A LOT of fun for the grown ups who are reading this book too. I do not mind re-reading this one when kiddo gets into a favorite book kick with it, and it was actually the first way that I shared my TTRPG hobby with him. 

Speaking of this being kiddo’s first intro to TTRPGs, The ABCs of D&D makes for a great gift for a player or GM who’s a new parent.  I received a copy of this book shortly after kiddo was born, and it was one of the gifts that was for me just as much as it was for kiddo.

Our favorite parts from The ABCs of D&D

My kid’s favorite part has been a combination of the artwork showing kids being awesome and acting out their characters and the owlbear page.  He asks a lot of questions about what the characters are wearing or “what’s that (the bow) for?” that have lead to some cool discussions, and he was just fascinated by the owlbear.  As he got older, he started asking questions like “what if it was a foxfalcon?” and can actually sound out the word “owlbear” by sight reading now, so it’s been amazing seeing him grow up with it!

For me, I liked the creativity in the artwork and the themes of wonder and adventure that connect all the “one shot” pages for each letter.  I love things like showing the dungeon master as a dragon describing a scene or showing Ravenloft as the players hanging out with the monsters for a scary movie night, and, while each letter is it’s own short story, they do have a sense of flow and connection between them that made it feel a bit more like a story and not just an ABC book.

credit: Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland, Wizards of the Coast

My overall thoughts on The ABCs of D&D

The ABCs of D&D is a great ABC book for kids, families, classrooms, or the new parent GM or player at your table that is made to engage both children and adults.  It is filled with wonderful artwork and themes that capture the essence of D&D while intentionally being accessible to really young kids.  This has been a fun read that I’m happy I was able to start with kiddo (now 4yo) when he was young, and it is a book that I’m glad to read with him again and again.

Find a copy of The ABCs of D&D

You can find a copy of The ABCs of D&D at Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, and other booksellers!If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to the TTRPGkids monthly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest reviews, tips and tricks, game and podcast list updates, and more! Thank you for playing tabletop RPGs with your kids and sharing this awesome hobby with the next generation!

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