"Also called abcedaria, abcee, abcie, or absey books, ABC books contain, in addition to the alphabet, depending on their historical function, a selection of illustrations, rhymes, a syllabarium, prayers, biblical texts, or stories. Originally alphabet books were developed to teach children spelling and reading, but soon they started to serve more purposes than the mere instruction of the order, sound, and shape of the letters. The genre evolved into an instrument of religious and moral instruction, and nowadays most ABC books mainly serve to amuse children with illustrations, stories, and rhymes when they already know the alphabet." -- Joosen, Vanessa. "ABC Books" The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature. Vol. 1. Jack Zipes, editor-in-chief. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.