I'm very quickly learning that with a newborn and a toddler in the house having a pile of books available so that all three of us can cuddle up on the sofa together at feeding time is a good thing. It's lucky therefore that Little Miss C and I have a backlog of books to review together at the moment.
We've read quite a few Richard Scarry books together, but as soon as I saw a description of Richard Scarry's Best Counting Book Ever I knew that we just had to review it. Little Miss C is really into numbers at the moment and is getting quite good at counting things and we try to encourage this as much as possible throughout the day.
Most of the number books that I've come across just have pages of things to count on them and after a while they can get quite dull. The Best Counting Book Ever is very different though as it has a storyline that runs throughout the book. Little Willy Bunny is bored one day so his father suggests that he counts everything that he sees so that at the end of the day he can tell him how many things he has counted. Willy Bunny starts at number one and counts himself as "one bunny". As he's joined by his friends the number of bunnies increases and he also counts everything else that they see.
"Willy and Sally go outside to play.
Along comes their friend, Freddy Bunny.
Two bunnies and one bunny make three bunnies."
Basic addition concepts are introduced as the story progresses and there's a great summary sheet at the start of the book showing how the numbers 2 to 10 can be made from adding together two other numbers, mirroring what is seen in the story. The illustrations are also done so that you can help your child see how numbers add up. There are four buses, but two are red and two are yellow, so as well as encouraging your child to count how many buses there are in total you can also get them to count the red and yellow ones separately.
As well as increasing in ones up to twenty the book also then includes the numbers 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 again with the number of objects to count grouped into interesting sub-sets to help. So as not to push LMC too much we've only gone up to ten so far, but we have noticed that it's already helped her with counting other things around her at home and when we're out and about.
The fact that the book has a storyline means that she's much more likely to pick it up and bring it over for us to read together. It's not a way of introducing numbers that I've seen elsewhere, but it really does seem to work very well indeed. My MIL tells me that Mr C wouldn't count until he was about four - possibly some sort of stubborn protest against not understanding why you needed to count so why should he do it - so I'm really pleased to see LMC counting things already and being confident in doing so.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Richard Scarry's Best Counting Book Ever to review.
Richard Scarry's Best Counting Book Ever
Publication Date: September 2012