How To Create an Alphabet Book on Any Topic

By Tom O'Haver

1. Do a Google search and add "ABC book" or "alphabet book" or "list of" or "dictionary of" to your search terms (with the quotes).

2. Go to, do a search for books on the topic of interest, look for those that have the "Look Inside the Book" feature, and see if that book has an index (near the end). Most non-fiction books have an index. The index is always in alphabetical order.

3. Try the Google Book Search ( to search for the topic of interest, click on Index (on the left) to view the index, then click on the < and > arrows at the bottom of the page to move through the index.

4. Once you have found a specific name to go with a particular letter, you can Google that specific name to find information about it. (Don't forget to record the name of the Web site where you got the information, so you can add it to your references later).

5. To find pictures, you can use the Google image search. Click "Images" just above the search term field. Perform a search as usual. The search results will be shown as thumbnails. Click on a thumbnail to view the Web page containing that picture, then click "See full-size image" at the very top of the page to see the image actual size. To save it, right-click on the image and select "Save Image As..." from the pop-up menu. Note, if you know you want to use that particular picture for a given letter, you can name it right on the spot, so you won't have to re-name it later - just type that letter in the "File name:" box before clicking Save. You can even save the picture directly in the desired folder (i.e. the copy of the template folder) by clicking in the "Save in:" menu at the top and select the desired folder. That way you won't have to move the image files later.

6. Other image search engines include and (click on Pictures). To search for photographs of a particular topic, try public photo sharing services such as or

7. To search for sounds (for use with the templates with sound), try or go to and click on Audio. Or try a regular Google search with wav OR mp3 added to your search terms (two popular audio file formats that are often used for sound files on the Web). Also look in the folder "downloadable sound and music sites" on the Template Workshop CD-ROM. If you're looking for video clips, try or go to and click on Video). Or try a regular Google search, adding mpg OR avi OR mov to your search terms (three popular video file formats that are often used for video files on the Web).

8. For more alphabet book ideas, see "ABC Books Aren't for Babies!" by Gary Hopkins.

(c) Tom O'Haver (, 2008

Unique visits since May 17, 2008: