Counting Books

Alda, Arlene.  ARLENE ALDA'S 1 2 3: What Do You See?   Illus. by author.  Berkeley, CA:  
      Tricycle,  1998.  unp.  1-883672-71-6;  hb., $12.95    98-05966      K+     513.2   or   E

      This creative counting book takes readers of all ages through 20 photos in which readers can see a numeral in the pattern.  Sometimes the numerals are not usual or obvious. While some picture books use a swan's neck to depict the numeral 2, this book uses it to depict 3; because the shadow of the graceful neck in the water turns it into a three.  At first glance, readers count eight stumps in the water but since the numeral 7 is on the page and the stumps are fashioned in the shape of a seven.  This discovery  is almost as delicious as the two bagels that are one on top of the other to make the letter 8.  Except for the hair curl for #6, none of the photos are really contrived.  The author provides notes at the end in case anyone is in doubt and in some cases she  provides information about where the pictures were taken.  Each page contains all numerals from 1-10 or 10-1; the numeral in the picture is highlighted.  Even though the numeral is not spelled out, this book can be used with ESL, English as a Second Language, students of all ages.  Adults and children can be asked to write out the numeral after looking at the photos.  School and public libraries will want this counting book.  Libraries that own ARLENE ALDA'S ABC (Tricycle, 1993), will especially want the counting book.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist
Appelt, Kathi. TODDLER TWO-STEP. Illus. by Ward Schumaker. New York:
    HarperCollins, 2000. unpg. 0-694-01244-0; $5.95 hb. 98-75697   PreSc   E

Short and Sweet.  Read to the Beat!  Filled with rhyme and rhythm, ten little toddlers dance from one to ten and back again.  The story begins with two young ones and increases by two even more energetic youngsters as the text counts in pairs.  Upon reaching ten, the count reverses and decends back to one. The energy level of the two-steppers decreases accordingly.  The simplcity of the cartoon-like figures depict lively, smiling, animated
cherubs, robust and chubby, on bright solid backgrounds.  Sharing this title is certain to encourage participation and frolicking fun.
    Patricia Fittante; Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

Baker, Keith.  QUACK AND COUNT.  New York:  Harcourt, Inc., 1999.  unp.
    0-15-205025-6 pb.  $6.00   PreS-K

    This is an entertaining counting book about seven ducks in rhyming verse.  Baker adds a twist with some addition facts supported by the illustrations on each two-page spread.  The illustrations are cut-paper collage in bold, textured color.  They are simple and captivating, bleeding to the edges of each page.  The reverse print text is clear and large, making is easy to read aloud to a young audience.
    Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Illus. by Paul Meisel.  New York:  Holiday House, 2004.  unp. 
            ISBN 0-8234-1736-0 hb.  $16.95.  PreS – Gr. 2    E PIC

            This is a tale about a trolley whose driver counts the passengers as they board two by two, until a pushy cow crowds her way on board and makes the driver lose track of his numbers.  Then the cow demands the other passengers “Mooove Over!” to giver her enough room for all of her stuff.  Finally the driver stops the trolley and recounts his passengers, finding he has one too many, and orders the pushy cow to leave.  In the back of the book is a page for parents or educators to use for math enrichment activities, called More Fun With Moove Over! Math. It has several games you can do to improve counting by twos.  This story is amusing and appropriate for Preschoolers through Second grade.
            Laurel Miller, K.I. Sawyer Learning Center and Library.

Chester, Jonathan and Kirsty Melville.  SPLASH!  A PENGUIN COUNTING BOOK. Illus with photos.  
    Berkeley, CA:  Tricycle, 1997, 2000.  32p.  1-58246-042-6 pb. $5.95     Gr. K-3     513.2     or     E

    There is a sentence and a numeral opposite a photo that covers more than one of the pages.  Even without being able to read the sentence, “readers” can just enjoy the photos and count the charming penguins and enjoy their antics.  This picture book can enhance any study of penguins or the Antarctic.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Cohen, L. Caron.  HOW MANY FISH?  Illus. by S. P. Schindler.  New York: Harper, 1998. 24p.    
    ISBN 0-06-027713-0; hb., $12.95;  0-06-027714-9;  lib.bdg., $12.89      PreS-Gr. 1      ER

     The title and cover illustrations are inviting and informative to the reader and participants.  The format of this easy reader  is done well.  The type size is large and displayed up and down to swim the reader along.   The fish and feet are given character that keeps the audience involved in the story.   You can go to the seashore, cool off your toes, use your counting and color skills, and witness the saving of one happy yellow fish.
    Sue Danielson, Library and Teacher Aide, Ishpeming Public Schools, Ishpeming, MI

Deegan, Kim.  MY FIRST BOOK OF NUMBERS.  Illus by author.  1-58234-755-7;    
    bd.bk.,  $7.95  New York: Bloomsbury, 2001.  16p.  PreS    BB

    This board book begins with a small child rolling a ball toward bowling ball pins and works through a variety of play activities to one big mess.  The books, blocks, crayons, puzzles are within the experience of preschoolers.  This is a successful counting board book.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Dorros, Arthur.  TEN GO TANGO.  Illus by Emily Arnold McCully.  New York: HarperCollins, 2000.  
    32p.    0-06-027690-8; hb., $15.95    0-06-027691-6; lib.bdg., $15.89    Gr. K-3      E

     A band, really a quintet, plays for other animal dancers in groups of one through ten:  one osprey dances ballet, two toucans two-step, four foxes fox-trot, nine walruses waltz, and ten flamingos tango.  Alliteration abounds.  Readers can tap, rumble, or strut with the animals.  The creative layout adds interest to the book but unfortunately some of the illustrations are lost at the center of pages.   A special feature involves two pages showing doors that open into a four page spread which shows all of the animals dancing.   The text is imaginative and will engage readers who can listen or dance with the animals even though the last four phrases would make more sense if they were in quotations.  Despite this problem, this lively book is good for public library story hours because it is great for audience participation and will a good read aloud for preschools and primary grades.  School library media specialists should show this book tor their P.E. teachers.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Edwards, Pamela Duncan.  ROAR!  A NOISY COUNTING BOOK .  Illus. by Henry Cole.  New York:  
     HarperCollins, 2000.  32p.  0-06-028384-X hb.$15.95   0-06-028385-8 lib.bdg. $15.89   Gr. K-1    E

     This counting book in rhyme moves from 1-10 through a story about a little lion who inadvertently scares away the other animals with his roar.  It is not until he finds nine other little roaring cubs that he does not intimidate.    It will be impossible to keep one child or a group of children from roaring at the end of the book. The illustrations are large and clear for reading aloud to a group but it is unfortunate that part of the picture is lost in the fold for two pink flamingos, six green crocodiles, and eight brown gazelles.  The book also introduces ten colors.   The LC subject lists this book as a jungle book but it is really about grasslands animals.  The blurb on the back flap utilizes the pattern of the story to introduce the author and illustrator.  These biographies could be used as models for children studying grasslands to create their own bios.  Purchase for school and public libraries for the counting story or the grasslands and color connections.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

 Freymann, Saxton and Joost Elffers.  ONE LONELY SEA HORSE .
    Photos by Nimkin/Parrinello.  New York:  Levine/Scholastic, 2000.  32p.
    0-439-11014-9; hb., $15.95    99-33396    PreS-Gr. 4    E   PAULIN'S PICKS

     Numbers begin with one blue sea horse named by Bea and end with ten anglefish in this imaginative counting book. The illustrations on the bright blue background are creative as well as spectacular.  Bea is made of a chioggia beet and the other sea life are created from various fruits, vegetables, spices, and mushrooms.  The four lobsters are made from ginger roots and the five turtles are made from pineapples.  Closed bananas are used for the six dolphins and peeled ones are used for the eight octopuses.  Pictures and captions of each of these food items are provided on the end papers and the only drawback to the book is that there is a different set of end papers in the front so that the last page of the back set is covered by the book jacket flap so that  seven of the items are not visible.  The rhyming text consists of mostly couplets with the exception of the beginning rhyme which has four lines and another which has three.  The rhyme is not forced probably because the text contains a sentence of dialogue from the sea creatures as they speak to Bea.  There are numerous double page spreads and most of the overlapping creatures are lined up properly.  This is a creative and visually appealing book that will have children and adults pouring over the illustrations again and again.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Glaser, Higashi.  HELLO KITTY, HELLO NUMBERS!  New York, NY:  Harry N.
    Abrams, Inc., 2002.  32 pgs.  0-8109-0505-1 hb. $10.36  PreS–Gr. 2     E

    Young children will enjoy the bright colors and simple shapes of the Hello Kitty characters in this basic counting book.  Glaser includes each number, its written name, countable objects, and a complete sentence describing those objects from 1 to 20.  It would be a welcome addition to personal or classroom collections.
    Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI
Greenstein, Elaine.  DREAMING.  Illus. by  author.  New York: Levine/Scholastic,
     2000.  32p.   0-439-06302-7;hb.,  $15.95.     99-25125    PreS-Gr.2        E

     A  navy background  accentuates the mood of the this bedtime counting book illustrated with monoprints overpainted with gouache.  The illustrations evoke Van Gogh's "Starry Night." even though that famous painting was executed in oils.   Numerals from 10 to 1 are made up of stars and are accompanied by the word for each numeral and a brief description of the picture.  A double page spread at the end of the book includes all of the previous images in one picture. This is a satisfying bedtime counting picture book as well as a book that can be used by art teachers to use with students of all ages.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

 Harris, Trudy.  100 DAYS OF SCHOOL.  Illus. by Beth Griffis  Johnson.  Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 1999.   
    32p.   0-7868-0507-2; hb., $15.99     0-7868-2443-3; lib.bdg.,  $21.90      513.2   or     E

    Because of the clever rhyme,  this book can be used as antiphonal choral reading.  The leader reads the longer part and when the page is turned, the audience can give the response which is short enough to be placed on cue cards or a transparency.  The book begins "If you go to school for 95 days, and then go 5 more days, what do you get?  Smarter and Smarter.  And..."   BThe response on the verso of that page is "(how cool)/100 Days of School!"   No hand signals need to be given to elicit the response because the word "and" followed by a pause appears at the end of each leader's section.  Each of the eleven sections begins with "if" and ends with "and."  No matter what the combination of numbers on each page, the total comes to 100.  This book is great for reinforcing numbers or for classes who celebrate the hundredth day.  Use in conjunction with EMILY'S FIRST 100 DAYS OF SCHOOL by Wells (Hyperion, 2000).
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Helakoski, Leslie.  THE SMUSHY BUS.  Illus. by Salvatore Murdocca.  Millbrook Press
    2002.  32p.  ISBN 0761313982 hb.     Gr. K-3   E PIC

    Helakoski is a Michigan author from Lawton, in the southwest corner of Michigan.  Her first book, The Smushy Bus, is problem-solving story about a school bus driver who has to fit a busload of children into a much smaller vehicle.  The driver stacks children in the seats, aisles and overhead racks to fit them all in.  The illustrations, by Salvatore Murdocca, are bright, bold, and whimsical, turning this story about a routine bus ride into a fantastic adventure in mathematics.  
    Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Hughes, Shirley.  ALFIE'S 1 2 3.  Illus. by author.  New York: Lothrop, 2000.  32p.
    0-688-17705-0; hb.,   $15.95   PreS-Gr. 2 E

     Fans of Alfie and Annie Rose will enjoy this counting book.  Hughes is adept at working the numbers into a story.  The numeral and a dot for each number is highly visible for young readers. The numbers move from one to ten and the last page tells of more stars than a person can count.There are no words or illustrations to mark this as a "British" book.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Hutchins, Pat.  TEN RED APPLES.  Illus. by author.  New York: Greenwillow, 2000.  32p.  
    0-688-16797-7; hb., $15.95    0-688-16798-5; lib.bdg., $15.89    PreS-Gr.2    E     PAULIN'S PICKS

     Each new book by Hutchins is eagerly awaited and this newest title does not disappoint.  Children will enjoy repeating the refrain "Yippee, fiiddle-dee-fee!"  They will also enjoy making noises with the horse, cow, donkey, goat, pig, sheep, goose, duck, and hen.  Two endings for the farmer and his wife finish the countdown from ten to one and then zero with a surprise.  The gouache end papers and bordered pages complete the colorful picture book.  This read aloud is an essential purchase for even the smallest picture book collection.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Inkpen, Mick.  KIPPER'S BOOK OF NUMBERS.  San Diego: RedWagon/Harcourt,1999.  20p.  
    0-15-202286-4;   bd.bk. $4.95   0-15-200646-X; pb., $6.00     95-15842   PreS-K     BB

    This board book moves from one Kipper, two hedgehogs to 9 snails and 10 friends (other dogs.) The creatures are easy for toddlers to count and Kipper's expressions are priceless.  Add this to board book collections in day care centers, public libraries, and home collections.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Jackson, Woody.  COUNTING COWS.  Illus. by the author.  San Diego:
    Red Wagon/Harcourt, 1995, 1999.  0-15-202174-4; bd.bk., $5.95   PreS    BB

    This board book begins with 10 cows and works down to zero and then skips to10 cows at a barn dance.  The adjectives used to describe the cows do not have continuity nor do they always make sense.  Is any animal lazy because it is lying down?   Most of the cows are lying down on another page and they are called sunning, not lazy.  There is also no picture of a sun to help toddlers get the idea of the sunnning.  The haying heifers are standing in front of rolled hay bales but does that make them haying?  Is there such a word as haying in this context.  The humans who made the round bales were once haying, but do cows hay?   How do readers know that the cows standing in front of the barn are cautious?  One big bovine is correct; growing up on a dairy farm made readers aware of what a bovine was, but does a toddler know or even care?   Board books for toddlers, unless they contain nursery rhymes or nonsense rhymes, should be within their scope of their scope of understanding.   I don't think the intention for this book, when it appeared first as a picture book, was intended to be nonsense.  Why do publishers think that every book picture book will make a good board book?  This one doesn't.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Johnson, D. B.  HENRY HIKES TO FITCHBURG.  Illus by author.  Boston:  
    Houghton, 2000.  32p.   0-395-96867-4; hb., $15.00.     Gr. K-3     E

    Two bears decide to go to Fitchburg in their own way.  Henry is going to walk the 30 miles to Fitchburg while his friend is going to work to make enough money to take the train.  The progress of the two is chronicled in this picture book.  Readers can add up the money the friend needs until they reach 90 cents or they can subtract the number of miles Henry needs to travel from the 30 mile trip to learn how many miles Henry has traveled.  In the afterword, Johnson provides information about how a few sentences from Henry David Thoreau’s WALDEN inspired this picture book.  Readers of all ages will enjoy the illustrations and Thoreau’s philosophy of taking time to pick blackberries.  The colored pencil and paint illustrations offer much for readers to look at again and again.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Kelly, Mij.  ONE MORE SHEEP.  Illus. by Russell Ayto.  Peachtree Publishers,
            2006.  ISBN 1-01561453781 hb. $16.95.    Gr. K-2    EP

             ONE MORE SHEEP is a counting book with style!  Mij Kelly has demonstrated how something as simple as counting sheep can become a tale of suspense and bravery.  When Sam brings his sheep in from a thunderstorm, he cannot seem to count them all before falling asleep.  This wouldn’t be a problem, except there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing right outside the door.  How will Sam know if he’s missing a sheep when he can’t stay awake to count them?  The sheep, in pen and ink drawings, will find a way. Illustrator, Russell Ayto, creates fantastic watercolors that span both pages all the way to the edge.  He supplements the text skillfully with simple lines and strong hues of muted color.  You’ve never before seen sheep like these!
Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

King, Dave.  COUNTING BOOK.  Photos by the author.  New York: 
    DK INK, 1998.  30p.   0-7894-3448-2;     $12.95     Gr. K-3      E

    This beautifully illustrated picture book is about numbers, counting, and the concept of how groups of items look.  The photos are bright with color.  The numbers 1-0 are represented with increments of 10 to 100.    Then a two-page spread shows what 1000 items look like.  This counting book captures the child's imagination by making numbers fun.  King asks questions to help the child count and question.  There are riddles and items to count and find.  Simple math entices the older child to experiment with numbers.  The book is large, well bound, has beautiful pictures, and is a joy to read.  At times the younger child may have difficulty with too much busy ‘stuff."  I give it four stars–it's wonderful!
    Sue Falconer; Director, Whitefish Township Library, Paradise, MI

Lark, Carrier.  FIVE LITTLE CHICKS.  New York: HarperFestival, 2003.  16p. 
    0-06-008299-3; bd. bk., $6.99   2002-100412     BB   or    394.26

    This holiday counting book is about five chicks who wear their holiday bonnets and hats.  Shorter pages within this board book share the activities of the first through fifth chicks and on the last page they all shown together with the Easter Bunny who has been watching them.  This is a satisfying Easter book that is also a clever counting book.  Add to holiday board book collections in preschools and public libraries.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Lobel, Anita.  ONE LIGHTHOUSE ONE MOON.  Illus. by author.  New York:
    Greenwillow, 2000.  32p.   0-688-15539-1; hb., $15.95
    0-688-15540-5; lib.bdg., $15.89   98-50790  PreS-Gr. 3     E

     "All Week Long" shows the same cat on pages for Monday through Sunday along with different colored human feet, legs, and shoes such as Tuesday's red shoes.   "Nini's Year" shows the same cat, which readers learn is named Nini, in each frame along with a sentence about each of the twelve months.  "In the last month, Nini waits for good things and the following page shows her with her new kittens.  "One Lighthouse, One Moon" shows Nini only on the first and last page.  The numerals move from one to ten with a nautical theme.  The lighthouse appears in illustrations in the first and last story but does not figure in the narration.  The double page spread at the end of the book shows one hundred stars and one moon.  This picture book shares four concepts with readers: days of the week, color, months, and numbers from 1 to 10.  It's like having four books instead of one which makes it a bargain for preschool, school, public and home libraries.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Lyon, George Ella.  COUNTING ON THE WOODS.  Photos by Ann Olson. New York:  DK INK, 1998.   
      0-7894-2480-0, hb., $15.95.  97-34117      PreS-Gr. 3+     513.2 or E      PAULIN'S PICKS

      Lyon's book gives extra value for the money; three different concepts in one picture book:  poetry, counting, and nature study.  The poem is in large print while the captions for the photos appears in lighter, smaller, italic print.  Each photo caption explains all or part of a rhyming couplet; "Eight flowers fed on dirt and showers."  The captions identify crested dwarf  iris, star chickweed, trillium, and lady slippers.  Five nests are also identified.  The pages for  "Ten trees whose innumerable leaves clean the air for everything that breathes." can prompt a discussion of photosynthesis or air pollution. Upper Peninsula  teachers will want a copy for their own rooms and other teachers will want copies available to use with biome studies. This is a picture book for all age groups and is a necessary addition to school, public, and home collections.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

 McGrath, Barbara Barieri.  THE CHEERIOS COUNTING BOOK.
     Illus. by Rob Bolster and Frank Mazzola, Jr.  New York: Scholastic Cartwheel, 1998.
     32p.  0-590-00321-6; hb., $10.95.   97-52819     PreS-K        513.2    or      E

     This book begins by counting cereal from 1-10.  Then numerals from 11-19 are included on one page.  The counting of cereal continues by tens up to 100.  The last number is zero.   The text is in an unidentified rhyme scheme that is not satisfying.  A plus is that the book can also be used to identify fruit.  Although no names of fruit are included and the fruit is not shown in a bowl with the cereal,  the requisite number of banana, peach, and kiwi slices as well as  blueberries and strawberries are realistic and appealing as they frame the pages.  McGrath's THE M&M's BRAND CHOCOLATE CANDIES COUNTING BOOK (Charlesbridge), available in regular and board book editions, is a more satisfying book.  The advantage of the Cheerios book is that the fruit and cereal are more nutritious.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

    Illus by Mark Buehner.  New York:  Harper, 2001.  24p  0-688-14554-X; hb., $15.95 
    0-688-14555-8; lib.bdg., $15.89      94-14215  PreS-Gr. 2     E   or   811.54

    This book serves as a holiday and a counting book.  There is a short poem for each numeral up to a dozen.  Pilgrim and Native American children are shown working on double page spreads that alternate between numbers and the two groups of children.  The illustrations are “saccharine sweet.”  The last double page spread, for the number 12, shows the "Wampanoag and Pilgrim friends/together will break bread."  This is a very idealistic view of the First Thanksgiving Day.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Merriam, Eve.  TEN ROSY ROSES.  Illus. by Julia Horton.  New York:  HarperCollins, 1999. 
    unp.  0-06-027887-0 hb., $14.95.  0-06-027888-9  lib. bdg.  PreS-Gr. 2     E  or  811.54

     A favorite children's poet provides a counting rhyme from 10 to 0.  The roses are picked by children until none are left.  The illustrator provides a nonverbal twist at the end of the book when readers find out where the roses went.  Will the teacher guess where the roses came from?  The numeral and the eight rosebuds are prominent on each page and the rhyme is in large letters for group reading or for beginning readers.  The children are from various ethnic backgrounds and the illustrations are in bright bold colors.  This book makes an engaging read aloud and fits the poetry and counting bills also. Purchase for public, preschool, and primary school libraries.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Murphy, Stuart, J.  ANIMALS ON BOARD.  Illus. by R.W. Alley.  MathStart series.  New York:  
     HarperCollins, 1998.  32p.   0-06-027442-5, lib. bdg. $14.95.     97-11733   PreS-Gr.2   E

     A truck driver, Jill, watches as this story  presents five simple addition problems which involve a series of passing trucks loaded with various animals.  The numeric problems are imbedded in the text, and using this pattern, the reader can practice his/her addition while trying to guess what the final destination of the truck is to be.   Related activities and stories are appended for parents and teachers.  Bright watercolors provide helpful visual clues and although the rhyming is somewhat droning, beginning mathematicians will enjoy this counting story.
    Patricia Fittante, Children's Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

.  Illus. by Remy Simard.  MathStart series.  New York: HarperCollins, 2001.  
   40p.  0-06-028022-0 hb. $15.95    0-06-028023-9 lib.bdg. $15.89       K-Gr. 2     516  or    E

    The MathStart series scores again!  An excellent way to introduce a unit on three-dimensional shapes is this story about Captain Invincible and his intrepid space-dog, whose name just happens to be Comet.  Done is colorful cartoon fashion, the illustrations draw the readers right into the adventure using the Space Shaper panel, with its three-dimensional bottons that include a cube, a cone and a pyramid.  The captain and his pup wage a war against a meteor shower, a flying saucer, poison gas, and a galactic beast. The book concludes with reinforcing activities and strategies that parents and teachers will appreciate.  So count down earthlings...get ready for take-off into a fun and educational reading experience!
    Patricia J. Fittante; Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

Murphy, Stuart J.  MISSING MITTENS, Level 1: ODD & EVEN NUMBERS .
    Illus by G. Brian Karas.  MathStart series. New York:  HarperCollins, 2001. 33p.
    0-06-028026-3; hb., $15.95   0-06-028027-1; lib.bdg., $15.89   0-06-446733-3; pb.,
    $4.95    99-41334    Gr. 1-4      513.2

    What a fun way to learn about odd and even numbers. The humorous rhyming text provides an interesting way to learn about odd and even numbers from 1-8.  Readers see Farmer Bill in his red underwear, then while fully dressed--except that he can’t find his other mitten.  Illustrations share the concept that one mitten is “odd,” and two mittens are “even.”  The word “pair” is mentioned in the rhyme.  Humor again enters the book when Bill notices that the cow only has three mittens rather than four on her teats and a drawing reinforces the “odd” and “even” concept.  Other animals wearing mittens are three chickens who should have six mittens and two horses who should have eight.  The mitten thief is finally found; a goat eating the mittens.  This book can also be used to teach counting by twos (1, 3, 5, 7 and 2, 4, 6, 8) as reinforced by a drawing showing all the “odd” mittens in the top illustrations and “even” mittens below.  Although the farm is from the past as evidenced from the old wood stove, it can be used for farmyard animal recognition.  As usual with this series, there are directions  “For Adults and Kids” which include helping children with the concept, other activities, and other books about numbers.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Murphy, Stuart J. SEAWEED SOUP; LEVEL 1.   Illus. by Frank Remkiewica.
    MathStart series.  New York: HarperCollins, 2001. 40p.  0-06-028032-8; hb., $15.95
    0-06-028033-6; lib.bdg., $15.89   99-087634    PreS-K     511.3   or    E

    It's never too soon to begin with math concepts.  At least that is the point that Murphy is trying to get across with this level 1 MathStart book.  The concept is matching sets or one-to-one correspondence.  Appealing to the very young reader, turtle concocts some green and slimy soup that SMELLS!   It is seaweed soup and it is Turtle's favorite lunch.  He decides to share it with his friends, Crab, Sandpiper, and Seagull.  One by one his friends come to the table that requires Turtle to find additional place settings, creating a dilemma for him.  The whimsical illustrations encourage the reader to match sets and count the items in each set.  Of help to the adult sharing the books with a child is concluding ideas for extending what has been covered as well as offering appealing ideas that strengthen the concept.  A truly delicious find!
    Patricia J. Fittante; Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

Murphy, Stuart J.  SPUNKY MONKEYS ON PARADE.  Illus. by Lynne Cravath.
    Mathstart  Series.  New York:  HarperCollins, 1999. 32p.  0-06-028015-8; lib.bdg.,
    $14.00.   98-6936     PreS-Gr.2     E

    It's time for the Monkey Day Parade! The marshall then the monkey majorette, lead a group of energetic monkeys as they ride in 2's, tumble in 3's, and march in 4's. Readers can find out just how many monkeys there are as they practice counting by numbers greater than one. A neat way to introduce multiplication. At the end of the book the author lists suggestions to kids and adults for ways to have more fun with the math concepts presented in her book. Murphy's rhyming text is as lively as Cravath's art work and together they have developed a fine sample of monkey business!
    Patricia Fittante; Children's Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

Pallotta, Jerry.  ICKY BUG NUMBERS.  New York:  Scholastic, Inc., 2003.
          32p.  0-439-56010-1 pb.    Gr. 1-3    E

          Pallotta is known for his charming and unusual alphabet books, but this counting book doesn't have the same impact.  This book tries to include too many concepts, such as counting, colors, patterns, insect identification, addition and subtraction.  The pages become too busy.  The illustrations are colorful and accurately drawn; however, the shadowing makes the bugs look out of focus.  Simple bugs without shadows would have made the pictures more clear.  However, children will still enjoy the bugs.  Good reinforcement for students who have already learned these concepts.
          Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Librar, Marquette, MI

Pallotta, Jerry.  REESE'S PIECES: COUNT BY FIVES.  Illus. by Rob Bolster.  New York:
    Scholastic Cartwheel, 2000.   32p.  0-439-13520-6; pb., $5.95.  PreS-Gr. 3    E

     The orange, yellow, and brown of the famous candy are the predominating colors in this counting book that also introduces various types of vehicles like a pickup truck, front-end loader, school bus and street sweeper.  A few of the vehicles are green and the Hershey's truck is a rich chocolate brown.  The numbers progress from 1 through 15 then by increments of five up to 100.  The last numeral is a zero because the candy is missing.  This book will appeal to anyone who plays with toy trucks.  Even if you have other food counting books,  McGrath's THE CHEERIOS COUNTING BOOK (Scholastic Cartwheel) and THE M&M's BRAND CHOCOLATE CANDIES COUNTING BOOK  (Charlesbridge), there is room for Pallotta's book because it contains a story line and can appeal to an older audience and especially to males.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

    Illus.  by author.  San Diego:  Harcourt, 1996.  32p.   0-15-200300-2; hb., $15.00
    0-15-202330-5; pb.,    $6.00         95-10986       PreS-Gr.3     513.2   or    E

     The illustrations,  potato prints using acrylic paint, can be used to inspire students to make potato prints of their own.  Fruits and vegetables from 1-10 accompany the numeral which is spelled out, and the name of the fruit or vegetable is given.  After 10, Pomeroy continues by tens from 20 radishes to 100 sunflower seeds.  Two pages at the end of the book are devoted to creating potato prints.  Except for the radishes looking like small turnips, the illustrations are realistic.  This is a very appealing counting book and teachers, especially art teachers, will be pleased that it is now available as a Voyager paperback.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Rand, Ann.  LITTLE 1.  Illus. by Paul Rand.  Chronicle Books, 2006.  40p.
            ISBN 1-00811850048 hb. $15.95   Gr. K-2   EP

             LITTLE 1 is a creative tale in which the main character, the number 1, searches for friends in two’s, three’s, four’s, and so on.  These small groups reject offers of friendship, leaving the number 1 all alone again.  Can you guess what happens when the number 0 drops by?  Ann Rand and her husband, Paul, collaborated on this story in 1962, which has just been reprinted for a new generation of readers.  Paul Rand, a graphic designer, illustrated the story with line drawings against bold blocks of color, and all that on an expanse of white.  The large text looks like it came from an old-fashioned (1950’s) typewriter.  The Rands were front runners in writing math stories for the elementary grades.  It’s a treat to have this book in circulation again.
Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Rose, Deborah Lee.  THE TWELVE DAYS OF KINDERGARTEN.  Illus. by
    Carey Armstrong-Ellis.  New York:  Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2003.  30 pgs.  
    ISBN 0-8109-4512-6; hb, $14.95    PreS-Gr. 1    E

    Based on the familiar rhythm and repetition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," this story can be read or sung. Each day the teacher has a new activity for her kindergarten class which fits into the counting theme.  Carey Armstrong-Ellis has captured the essence of a tumultuous kindergarten classroom:  the harried teacher, the child who won't let go of the teacher's skirt, the boy with his finger perpetually in his nose and the princess wannabe are all colorfully represented.  I wonder who will enjoy this book more - children or kindergarten teachers!
    Carolyn Anderson, L'Anse, Retired Elementary Teacher, Public Library Board

Saul, Carol P.  BARN CAT: A COUNTING BOOK.  Illus by Mary Azarian.
    Boston: Little, 1998. 32p.  0-316-76113-3, hb., $15.95.  97-07052   PreS-Gr.2.   E

     Azarian's uses hand-colored woodcut prints to create attractive double spread pages with the numeral in the upper right corner along with a picture of the cat and objects from nature.  The double page spreads bleed successfully into each other except for the swallows where one beak and part of the head are missing in the fold.  Each of the first four creatures are identified by color:  two brown crickets; three black-and-orange butterflies; four gray swallows.  Repetition of the red barn door provides a fifth color so this book could also be used to introduce colors although it would have been better if the red barn were a brighter shade of red; it almost looks brown.   The story does not end with the 10 sparrows but continues on until barn cat finds what she is looking for, someone (a girl) who has narrated the story.  The story could have ended with the number 10 but from that point it seems to switch from third person to first person when in reality it is the narrator who finishes the story.  Since the cat and the little girl are both female, there is some confusion about the who is doing the speaking when the counting part stops and the last part begins.  These flaws aside, you don't have to be a cat lover to like this book.   Children will enjoy all three aspects of this handsome picture book.   Teachers will use it for color, counting, and nature studies.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

    Illus by Ted  Rand.  New York:  HarperCollins, 1985, 2002.  32p.  0-688-16022-0;
    hb., $15.95   0-688-16023-9; lib.bdg., $15.89   00-054111   PreS-Gr. 1     E

    This is both a bedtime and a counting book.  Hattie held a parade of her ten stuffed animals and dolls.  As each number is announced in the book, there is a description of the toy; i.e., “Three was Tom, who used to sing “Yankee Doodle” until something inside him went snap!/Though he couldn’t sing anymore, Tom still looked very smart in a parade.”    Ten was Hattie herself.  Daddy watched the parade and Mama played the piano.  Then the menagerie marched to bed and Daddy tucked Hattie in.  Then one by one, Hattie decided she needed her toys with her.  Her excuses were varied.  “Wait,” said Hattie.  “Tom wants to sleep in my bed.  He’s afraid of the dark.”/ “I haven’t turned the light out yet,” said Mama./ “Tom will make a fuss when you do,” Hattie told her./  So Tom came out of the toy box, and then there were 4 in Hattie’s bed.”  After each addition the parents took turns saying “Good night, Hattie, my dearie, my dove.”  This is a charming bedtime story.  Parents will probably hope that their “dearie” will not emulate this bedtime ritual with a parade of their own.  Although this is a read-aloud, the vocabulary is simple enough for beginning readers to tackle on their own.  In any case, listeners will enjoy taking part in the refrain.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Sierra, Judy.  COUNTING CROCODILES.  Illus by Will Hildebrand.  San Diego: Gulliver/Harcourt, 
     1997.  0-15-200192-1, hb. $15.00.  95-48787       PreS-Gr. 2.    E or  398.2

     It is no surprise that the author has told stories and shared puppet programs with thousands of children because her story has all the elements of a good read-aloud.  Sierra has taken a favorite Asian folktale and turned it into an engaging counting book.   The rhyme will flow from the tongue of the reader without missing a beat.  The vocabulary of delicious words is reminiscent of a nursery rhyme.  Read this one aloud often to the preschool and primary crowd or use it as a pattern for older students on how to turn a folktale into a rhyme. Hildebrand  provides humorous illustrations with lots to look at and to entice repeat readers.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Singer, Marilyn.  QUIET NIGIHT.  Illus by John Manders.   New York: Clarion, 2002.
    32p.  0--618-12044-hb., $15.00   2001-023098   PreS-Gr. 3   E

    This cumulative story in rhyme shares noises of ten creatures beginning with one frog and ending with ten campers.  Other creatures are crickets, mosquitoes, mice, raccoons, coyotes, fish, geese, and owls.  This audience participation story also functions as a counting book.  The gouache and color pencil illustrations show the woodland creatures in a humorous manner, illuminated by a full moon.  The last sentence is “What a NOISY night!”  Sharing this book in libraries and homes will also be a noisy activity.  Teacher will use the book to introduce woodland animals.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Spowart, Robin.  TEN LITTLE BUNNIES.  New York:  Scholastic Cartwheel, 2001.
    24p. 0-439-20863-7; hb., $7.95   PreS   E

    Spowart uses the same bunnies from INSIDE, OUTSIDE CHRISTMAS (Holiday, 1998) and IT’S HANUKKAH! (Holiday, 1999) to introduce numbers from 1-10.  The padded cover reinforces the concept of soft bunnies.  This book works well in story hour programs with Spowart’s bunny books or with other counting books.  The book is also an excellent vehicle for narrative pantomime because children can easily mime raking and eating and with a little imagination can use hand motions for sliding and flying.  Giggling and singing will require some personal restraint for children to mime but will add to the fun.  To further make this a winner for story hours and personal reading, Spowart has included sounds for children to make.  Read the book three times, first with sounds next with miming and then with both.  Who said counting can’t be fun?
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Swinburne, Stephen R.  WHAT'S A PAIR?  WHAT'S A DOZEN?  Illus. with photos.  Honesdale, PA:  
      Boyds Mills, 2000.  32p.   1-56397-827-X;  hb., $15.95    99-63097    PreS-Gr.3      E  or  510

     The following  concepts introduced in this book are:  single, first, uni, pair, couple, second, double, bi, tri, triple, third, several, few, many,, half a dozen, a dozen, baker's dozen., and odd and even numbers.   Readers are asked to find a pair, identify a unicycle, find the person first in line, and three other questions.  The photos provide the necessary reinforcement for the text so that readers understand the concepts and are very good but not excellent in quality.  This book should be purchased by  preschools,  elementary schools, public libraries,  and for English as a Second Language programs for children and adults.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth.  COUNT DOWN TO CLEAN UP!  Illus by the author. Boston:  
    Houghton Mifflin, 2001.  32p.  0-618-10130-6; hb., $14.00  00-053963     PreS-Gr. 3     E

    The collage illustrations are creatively deceptive; the author has made them so that they look easy enough so anyone could create them.  There is lots of color in the ten bunnies and their activities in this counting book.  It is helpful to read the front flap before starting to read the book to realize that there are clues "to know which bunny goes into which shop," and [to] match each rabbit with what they brought to the community clean-up day."   The numeral as well as the spelling of each number from 10 to 0 (none) makes this a counting book.  As they stop at each place, including the paint store and the public library, a bunny goes in to get something to help with the clean-up day at the park.  There is lots to look at in the illustrations and readers will return time and again to them to make sure they have not missed anything.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Walsh, Ellen Stoll.  FOR PETE'S SAKE.  Illus. by the author.  San Diego: Harcourt,
    1998.  unp.  0-15-200324-X.   hb.,  $15.00   97-25677   PreS-Gr. 3    E

     Pete, an alligator,  thinks he is a flamingo and wants to be pink like everybody else.  The others tell him not to worry because "You probably aren't ripe yet.  It takes longer for some."  When Pete sees some green flamingos (alligators) that look like him, he discovers that "I'm different but the same," and the pink flamingos counter with "Well for Pete's sake, Pete," they said.  "You always have been."  Without being didactic, the ideas of conformity and individuality are introduced so that preschoolers and primary students can understand.  They will also see the humor in Pete's thinking he is a green flamingo.  This book can be used to introduce pink and green colors and counting two and four.   The cut paper collages complement the text.    Public and pre-school libraries will appreciate  this book and school library media specialists will want to show it to their counselors.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

    Illus. by Paige Miglio.  New York:  Lothrop,   2000.  24p.  0-688-16847-7; ; hb.,
    $15.95 0-688-16848-5; lib.bdg.,  $15.89      99-27642   PreS-Gr. 3      E

     This rhyming picture book is more than a counting book from 1-10.  A refrain "Here comes one more bunny" sets the stage for the addition of "one more"  rabbit.   Above the rhyme there is a pen and ink sketch of one bunny and the numeral 1.  The pattern is repeated on each page.  An addition problem is also given beginning with 1+1=2.  There are five math problems for number ten showing every possible combination like 6+4=10 and 9+1=10.  The last page lists other items on the page which also represent the numeral; representing number 6 there are also 5+1=6 yellow flowers in the necklace, 4+2=6 ladybugs, and 3 +3 rocks.  Readers are unaware of these objects until they see the list so it is fun to "re-read" the book looking for the requisite objects.  There are lots of counting books out there but school and public libraries should make room for "one more."
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Weeks, Sarah, COUNTING OVEJAS.  Illus. by David Diaz.  Athenum Books for Young
    Readers, 2006.  32p.  ISBN 0689867506 hb. $17.99    PreS-Gr.1     E PIC

    This is a counting book with a twist.  The main character finds a series of colored sheep in his room when he can’t get to sleep.  Not only does he count one white sheep, two brown sheep, and so on, he also has to get them out of his room before he can go back to bed.  The short sentences are written in Spanish and English, making it very easy to learn colors and numbers.  David Diaz outdoes himself with simple illustrations surrounded by bright hues of jade, purple and blue.  Wooly swirls on the colored sheep make them look like cuddly stuffed animals that readers can count over and over again. 
    Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Wells, Rosemary. EMILY'S FIRST 100 DAYS OF SCHOOL.  Illus. by author. New York:  Hyperion,  2000.   
    64p.    0-7868-0507-2; hb. $15.99    0-7868-2443-3; lib.bdg. $21.90   PreS-K     513.2    or      E

    Wells illustrates this picture book in her style using watercolor and ink illustrations.  Told in the first person, this book begins on the bunny girl's first day of school.  Her teacher,  Miss Cribbage, tells the class that they will write down a new number in their number books and when they reach 100, they will have a party.  From one to three numbers appear on the large pages until they reach 100 when the bunny has a surprise she reveals in the letter she writes her parents and grandparents.  Many of the numbers are for items that are within common knowledge, Crazy Eights, 9 planets, "Sixteen Tons," twenty questions, "Thirty days has September...," a 45 degree triangle, 50 stars on our flag, 52 cards in a deck, sixty minutes, and  "Seventy-six Trombones."   Others are arbitrary, like a scout troop number, steps up the state capitol steps, the temperature, items on a shopping list, or number of children on the school bus.  There is lots of color in the book, even on the end pages.  Teachers and parents can introduce a page a day until the day of celebration arrives.   Use this attractive book with 100 DAYS OF SCHOOL by Harris (Millbrook, 1999).
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Wheeler, Lisa.  ONE DARK NIGHT.  Illus by Ivan Bates.  San Diego: Harcourt, 2003.     
    32p.   0-15-202318-6; hb., $16.00  2001-005964    PreS-Gr. 3     E

    The wax pencil crayon and watercolor illustrations add humor to this scary story that ends with an upbeat surprise.  The book begins with a BIG GIANT bear in a lair, glen, and den that are also preceded by “BIG GIANT.”  Everything about the bear in the next stanza is BEASTY--his growls, feet, jowls, and treat.  “Then, one dark night…” a little mole and a little mouse go out into the night even though the mole is scared of the dark.  The bear is hungry, licks his chops, and bares his “BIG sharp white teeth.”   This book can be read at bedtime but not for the first time.  Read it aloud to preschoolers first in the daytime so they won’t be so scared and know the outcome when it is read to them at night so they will be able to sleep without being afraid.  The ending for this book is priceless and even adults will be surprised.   
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Wiles, Deborah.  ONE WIDE SKY: A BEDTIME LULLABY.  Illus by Tim Bowers.  San Diego: 
    Gulliver/Harcourt, 2003.  32p.  0-15-202334-8; hb., $16.00    006868      PreS-Gr. 2      E

    Oil paintings of animals and people in a back yard begin and end with “one wide sky” and go up to ten then count back down again.  Locating the proper number of items is challenging for preschoolers in this rhyming counting book.  Anyone who has ever camped in the back yard and has appreciated the nature there will especially like this book but those who have not done so can be part of the experience vicariously.  Because this picture book ends with camping in the evening, it makes a suitable bedtime book.    
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Williams, Sue.  LET'S GO VISITING.  Illus. by Julie Vivas.  San Diego:  Gulliver/Harcourt,
    1998.  unp.  0-15-201823-9, hb., $15.00   97-34398    PreS-Gr. 2      E

     Vivid watercolors bring a boy and his dog to life.  Preschoolers will enjoy repeating the question "Let's go visiting.  What do you say?"  And beginning readers will enjoy being able to read them.  This picture book is also a counting book because they meet one brown foal, two red calves, three black kittens, four pink piglets, and  five green ducklings.  The green ducklings are not realistic, but the other colors are true to real  animal colors even though not crayon colors.  Very few of the words are too difficult for beginning readers; it is a treat to have a picture book that primary children can read themselves.  The illustrations are large enough to make this a satisfying read-aloud as a quieting activity because the boy curls up with his dog and puppies at the end.  This versatile picture book deserves a place in collections.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Retired school library/media specialist

Ziefert, Harriet.  A DOZEN DUCKLINGS LOST AND FOUND.  Illus. by Donald Dreifuss. 
    New York:  Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003.  unp.  0-618-14175-8 hb. $15.00   PreS-Gr.2   E

    The bright, simplistic illustrations and bold, easy-to-read text carry this counting book which features twelve ducklings living on a farm.  The story covers the hatching process of eggs, and includes an information sheet on Muscovy ducks at the end of the book. Besides learning how to count, readers can also learn about ducklings.
    Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

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