By Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Chronicle Books, $16.99, ages 6-9
As author and illustrator acknowledge, the inspiration for this book is William Steig's "C D B!" What Steig did for letters, they aim to do for numbers. A "wumber" is a word "cre8ed with numbers!" This book can be the center of family fun because there's a workout for your brain cells: see the numeral, say the word, put it inside another word. Tom Lichtenheld's pictures help us along, with big brassy, shuddering tubas, for instance, to clue us in on "learning a 2ne on the 2ba." The tune? "2t." This book reminds us that "sounding it out" can be a lifelong skill.