Blue's Clues Wiki

"Blue's ABCs" (also known as "Prereading!" in ABC's and 123's) is the seventh episode of Blue's Clues from the second season. It was the twenty-second episode to air and the twenty-seventh produced.


  • Question: What book does Blue want to read?
  • Clues:
    • 1. A Moon
    • 2. A Cow
    • 3. The Word “Jump”
  • Answer: Hey Diddle Diddle
  • Wrong Answer: The Moon Jumping
  • Living room picture: The word "picture"
  • Bedroom Picture: Steve and Blue making an "A" (Later used in Steve Goes to College)
  • Skidoo location: Storybook


Steve and Blue are having reading time.


As we head inside to visit Steve, he is reading a chapter book named "A Really Great Book". When Steve heads into the bedroom, his name is seen on the back of his green striped shirt. Blue wants Steve to read her a book based on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. After reading, Blue refuses to read Steve's book, so he asks what other books should Blue read. So Steve has to play a game of Blue's Clues to figure it out. Steve draws a "P" on the paw-print and it popped off the screen. Steve goes to Sidetable Drawer to get his notebook. After getting his notebook, the word "Notebook" is seen on the back.

During the song about how to play the game, he reads the book he was reading earlier. So after singing, Steve starts to look for clues. He finds the first clue on a picture of a moon in a different book, so Steve draws it in his handy-dandy notebook. Later, he heads into the kitchen. Mrs. Pepper asks Steve to assist her and Mr. Salt with their grocery shopping. Paprika is thirsty. They find milk, bread, and juice for Paprika. Paprika has some juice from a baby bottle. Steve waves goodbye to Mr. Salt, Mrs. Pepper, and Paprika. Steve tells the viewers that "Book" starts with "B". Door starts with a "D". Curtain starts with "C". Steve finds another "C" word, "Cow". As Steve starts to say C words like cake, caterpillar, carburetor, cantaloupe, and Capobianco, he finds the second clue in a picture of a cow. So he draws it in his notebook. During the Mailtime segment, Steve gets the viewers to read the words in the mail-time song. Mailbox comes in and spells Steve's name. Mailbox has lots of letters for him as in "letters of the alphabet".

Mailbox had another kind of letter. Inside the video letter, two girls visit the library and read a book called If You Give Your Mouse a Cookie. After that, Steve gets back to the bedroom, but not before questioning the viewers if they've seen Blue, who was hiding behind the bookshelf and eventually comes out from behind it. Blue and Steve immediately skidoo into a storybook, where they have to rearrange the mistakes so that the sentences in the book will make sense. Afterward, the final clue is on the word "Jump". Steve writes the word in his notebook. So Blue and him skidoo back home. After sitting in the thinking chair, he puts the three clues he found together. Steve wants to know if the moon could jump, but that answer is weird because the moon cannot jump. But the cow could jump.

The kids study the three clues and the answer is revealed to be the story "Hey Diddle Diddle" because Blue wants to read it. Then, they head back into the bedroom, with Steve carrying Blue's book, which is "Hey Diddle Diddle". He says that the illustrated picture from the story is good clues, which are a moon, a cow, and the word Jump. As Steve reads the story to his Mr. Salt, Mrs. Pepper & friends, the cat plays a fiddle. Then a cow jumps high enough to the moon. Also, the little dog laughs so he could see such a sport, and at the end of the story, the dish and spoon ran away. As Steve sings So Long, subtitles of the lyrics are seen as Blue's Ball bounces as Steve sings the lyrics. After singing, he catches the small ball in his pants pocket as the episode ends.


Video Releases



Mailbox: Hi, S-T-E-V-E.

Steve: Steve, That's me. Hi, Mailbox, and could I get a letter for us.

Mailbox: I got lots of letters for you.

(Steve getting letters out from Mailbox)

Steve: Oh, letters of the alphabet, I get it.

Mailbox: And here's another one.

(Steve getting the letter out from Mailbox again)

Steve: Thanks, Mailbox.

Mailbox: Bye.

Steve: Ha-hee. He did that funny don't you think.

Watch Episode

This episode is available for streaming on Paramount Global's video streaming service Paramount+.


  • Koyalee Chanda was one of Steve's friends in this episode. She provides the voice for Magenta, but this character did not appear in the episode.
  • In this episode, Steve had his first name embossed on the back of his shirt. Usually, people have shirts with their last name embossed on the back, mainly sports players. The reason he had his first name embossed on the back of his shirt is because young children best recognize people by their first name. He wasn't referred to as "Burns" anyway.
  • This is the first episode to use the "No, a clue!" phrase that sounds like the viewer is giggling while saying it.
  • The authors, other staff, and companies associated with the books "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", "Corduroy" and "The Rainbow Fish" all receive special thanks during the credits. "Corduroy" is one of the books shown in the intro and outro.
    • Coincidentally, clips from The Adventures of Corduroy appear during the Paramount Means Family Entertainment trailer, which was one of the opening previews for the 1999 VHS ABC's and 123's.
  • This is the only episode in which Tickety does not stomp her feet due to the very short credits.
  • Tanya Hamilton directed the video letter for this episode.
  • The Greenburg sisters, Julie and Jessica, were Steve's friends in the video letter.
  • Snail is hidden in 3 places in every episode. In this episode, he's very easy to find the first time he appears because he has a label.
    • This happened again in "Let's Write!".
    • The other two times he appears, he is not labeled.
  • Magenta appeared on the call reminder on the bulletin board just like she did in "Blue's Story Time," "Adventures in Art," and "Blue Goes to the Beach."
    • Unlike the other episodes, the reminder had the words "Call Magenta" on it.
  • This is the 1st episode with letters.
  • This is the first Steve episode with words. The first was Words.
  • This episode is the first of two available on the "ABC's and 123's" VHS tape. This episode is also available as a bonus episode on the "Blue Takes You To School" DVD.
    • The episode appears as "Prereading!" on the back cover of the ABC's and 123's VHS.
    • This episode also appeared on the compilation DVD titled Nickelodeon Let's Learn ABCs.
  • There is no UK or As Pistas da Blue version, possibly because the producers of those versions thought it would be too hard for them to make it.
  • During the Mailtime song, Blue holds up some cue cards that have words so that we can sing along with Steve.
    • In this version of the Mailtime song, the viewers yell out "Mail!" at the end instead of Steve.
  • Some of the ideas used in this episode come up again in "Words" and "Let's Write!".
  • The author of the book "The Girl and the Puppy" is Robert Capobianco, an actor on the show who would later be listed among Steve's friends in the video letter in "Weight and Balance."
    • His last name was also among the C words that Steve came up with earlier before finding the 2nd clue.
  • The ball in the story looked exactly like Blue's.
    • When Steve sang The So Long Song, a small version of the ball pointed to the lyrics. This is a reference and a tribute to sing-along videos like the Screen Songs cartoons.
  • The puppy in "The Girl And The Puppy" also appeared as the dog in "Hey Diddle Diddle."
  • When Steve says "No, No, I don't think it's 'clue'" (because he wondered what the word in A Really Great Book he was stuck on was, and he thought the viewers said it was the word "clue") before finding it. This phrasing is similar to what he says before finding the third clue in "Blue's Favorite Song" ("No, I think it's a piano.").
  • This is another episode where the "No!" sample from "Snack Time" is heard.
  • This is the third episode where the "It's a clue!" sample from "Blue Goes to the Beach" is heard.
  • The music for the clues in this episode can be heard later on in the Blue's Room episode "Little Blue Riding Hood."
  • This is Steve's original version of ABC's with Blue.
  • This was the first aired episode to use the Thinking Chair theme music with drums and trumpets. For this and a few more episodes, it starts after finding the 3rd clue in a skidoo segment and before the usual drum roll and notebook ding.
  • This episode was remade in Blue's Clues & You, titled ABC's with Blue.
  • This and "Magenta Comes Over" are the two episodes where the second clue and the third clue switch places when Steve gets the answer wrong.
  • This is the girl from Blue's Reading Time Activities.
  • This is one of two episodes where a Hi-Hat Cymbal is heard


  • The "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" song featured at the beginning of the episode incorrectly has the second and last verses as "How I wonder where you are" instead of "...what you are".
  • During the Mailtime song, when Steve turns around and sees Mailbox, the letters on his shirt are missing.
  • When Steve Skidoos to the storybook, the right edge of the purple bookshelf is cut off.
  • iTunes lists this episode as "Blue's ABC's". There is an apostrophe added between ABC and the letter s.
  • When Steve looks for the 2nd clue in the kitchen after grocery shopping with Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper, there's a white border on the right of the screen, making the kitchen wall cut off.

Video Releases

This episode had many video releases, including the following:

  • Blue's ABCs Special Teacher's Edition (VHS, 1998)
  • ABCs and 123s (VHS, 1999)
  • Back to Basics (VHS, 1999)
  • Ready to Read (VHS, 2003)
  • Blue Takes You to School (VHS) (DVD, 2003)
  • Nickelodeon: Let's Learn ABCs (DVD, 2013)
Blue's Clues Season 2
Steve Gets the Sniffles | What Does Blue Want to Build? | Blue's Senses | What Experiment Does Blue Want to Try? | What Does Blue Want to Make Out of Recycled Things? | What Was Blue's Dream About? | Blue's ABCs | Math! | Blue's Birthday | What Does Blue Want to Do with Her Picture? | What Does Blue Want to Do on a Rainy Day? | Blue's Surprise at Two O'Clock | The Lost Episode! | Blue's Sad Day | What Game Does Blue Want to Learn? | What Did Blue See? | Nurture! | Blue Is Frustrated | What Is Blue Trying to Do? | Mechanics!