New Book Teaches Young Jayhawk Fans The Alphabet and Numbers

Dec. 14, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – It’s never too early to dream of being a Kansas Jayhawk or to learn the alphabet or how to count.

Kansas’ famous mascot, Big Jay, will help future KU fans learn that important information in an alphabet and counting book entitled Kansas Jayhawks ABCs and 1-2-3s published by Ascend Books of Overland Park, Kan. The book, released in time for the upcoming holiday season, is designed and illustrated by Kansas artist Rob Peters and is endorsed by early childhood development specialists.

In the 32-page, full-color board book, Big Jay teaches young Kansas fans numbers, letters, colors and points of interest about KU. For example, “A” is for Allen Fieldhouse, KU’s legendary basketball arena. “B” is for blue, one of the school’s colors, and “L” is for Lawrence, the Jayhawks’ hometown. In addition to colorful characters and typefaces that attract the interest of young readers, the book features an interactive KU-blue push button that plays short audio clips of the famous Rock Chalk Chant, the Campanile chimes, the steam whistle and other well-known voices associated with the University of Kansas.

“Kansas Jayhawks ABC and 1-2-3s is a wonderful addition to any child’s library, and is a terrific gift idea,” said Paul Vander Tuig, KU’s director of licensing. “The book follows in the tradition of other fine KU books published by Ascend Books, including At Home in the Phog by head basketball coach Bill Self, A Good Place to Stop by broadcaster Max Falkenstien, Rising to New Heights by former KU quarterback Todd Reesing, and the recently-released Reed All About It by Tyrel Reed, KU’s winningest basketball player who is now playing professionally in Belgium.”

“With the holiday season upon us, this fun-filled educational book is a great way to get a child on the road to becoming a Jayhawk fan for life,” said Ascend Books publisher Bob Snodgrass. “Rob Peters has done an excellent job with the illustrations, making it fun to read and follow along for youngsters and their moms and dads to enjoy together.”

A special event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 17, at Barnes & Noble at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, where Baby Jay will appear with the book’s illustrator, Rob Peters, for a reading of Kansas Jayhawks ABCs and 1-2-3s. Children age eight and under may register for a special drawing to have cookies and milk with Baby Jay prior to the book reading. Contact Lauren Heller at Barnes & Noble at 913-541-1505 for additional information.

Kansas Jayhawks ABCs and 1-2-3s is available at,, and at select grocery and specialty stores.

About Ascend Books
Ascend Books has published books for such sports celebrities as Marv Levy, Dick Vitale, Andy Van Slyke, Bill Self, Meadowlark Lemon, Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre. Ascend also has published commemorative titles including Hoops Heaven: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Touchdowns and Traditions, detailing the 75-year history of the Orange Bowl. For more information, visit