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How to Count to ONE

How to Count to ONE

How to Count to ONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Count to ONE

Caspar Salmon

Matt Hunt

Nosy Crow, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A22.99

9781839941924

You know how to count, right? GREAT! There are LOADS of fun things to count in this book. Whales, baboons, rainbows, pyramids…There’s just rule. You must ONLY ever count to ONE. So don’t even about THINK bigger numbers. OK?!

Following in the footsteps of a number of other books that really engage our youngest readers as they not only learn the concepts that are the book’s focus, but also a host of early reading behaviours, this is a masterpiece that ensures that the reader listens carefully to the instructions and then develops their visual acuity as they follow them, searching for that ONE item on the page they have to find and count.  They can’t be distracted by all the other things going on – there is just one of whatever it might be, such as the one duck rollerblading amongst all the other ducks.  Some are more obvious than others but there are also some tricky ones that will really make the reader focus on the picture’s detail, encouraging them to be discerning and also give illustrations more than just a brief glance.  There are always cues and clues within that enrich and enhance the text.

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

As well as being great fun for the young reader – and there is the chance for them to show their prowess with counting – if your school has a buddy system where older students become the companions of your youngest, this would be a great joint activity with the older kids creating their own page to contribute to a class book to share. Each little one could have their own copy as a memento of the relationship, and perhaps even be inspired to male their own page to share too. 

Books that teach so much in such a fun way are gold; books that keep on giving even moreso!  

Lion Lullaby

Lion Lullaby

Lion Lullaby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lion Lullaby

Kate Banks

Lauren Tobia

Walker, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A27.99

9781529503401

As night falls in the savannah and “dusk paints stripes across the sky”, ten little lions know it is time to head to bed.  But as they make their way, there are all sorts of sights and sounds to distract them –   a monkey “bouncing a babe on its knee”; a cobra waving its tail,  zebras braying, and a tree frog peeping; there is a honeybee nest to inspect; sand dunes and a stream to navigate; elephants tramping along and wildebeests running. There is as much adventure on the journey home as there has been in the day.  But at last, they are together and cuddled together, they listen to “evening’s lullaby,” and sleep “cuddled by night.”

Just as night envelops the little lions in its all-embracing spread, so too the author embraces much in this lyrical lullaby.  As well as the language which turns the ordinary into the extraordinary – “dusk paints stripes across the sky” is a picturesque phrase that could spark a lesson in itself with students suggesting other ways to describe the twilight sky – the rhythm of the language draws the reader in with its gentle cadence echoed in the illustrations which transition gradually from golds, browns, and greens to dreamy mauves, violets, and greys as the light changes and darkness draws closer.

For those unfamiliar with the habitats and inhabitants of the African savannah, there are geographical and biological discoveries to investigate and woven into it all is a counting book with purpose and context. So while this might have been intended initially to lull little ones as they draw the curtains on their day – even lions have to sleep – it is one that can be shared across the ages  with something new for each.

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

We Are One: How the World Adds Up

We Are One: How the World Adds Up

We Are One: How the World Adds Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Are One: How the World Adds Up

Susan Hood

Linda Yan

Candlewick, 2021

32pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99

9781536201147

This is another one of those rare books for which the publisher’s blurb describes it best…

One can be one thing all on its own—one star, one stream, one stick, one stone.

But those on their toes, those using their smarts, know one can be more than the sum of its parts. 

Consider the two slices of bread that make up one sandwich, or the three lines of poetry that form one haiku, or even the ten years that form one decade. From one to ten, from sandwiches to centuries, every part is necessary to the whole.

In this fascinating concept book, a simple rhyming narration aimed at younger children is complemented by informational panels about subjects like the four compass points, the five acts in Shakespeare, the seven colors of a rainbow, or the nine innings in baseball. Award-winning author Susan Hood and debut children’s book illustrator Linda Yan offer a mind-expanding look at early math concepts such as part/whole relationships, fractions, and addition—while underlying themes of cooperation, peace, and kindness make this beautiful volume one to be enjoyed by anyone at any age.”

This celebration of numbers illustrates how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, while every part is critical to the whole! From one to ten, around us are things that cannot be without every part: seven days make a week, six sides make a snowflake, five acts make a Shakespeare play, and so on.  It is a perfect demonstration of the meaning of synergy – the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects – which is an abstract term usually too large for little minds but the repetition of the little girl in each of the illustrations and showing how she is directly connected to each of the examples give it a real-world application that is easily understood.  

As well as the informational panels at the base of each page, there is a comprehensive list of sources and resources that give more information about each of the concepts as well as some especially for kids that offer explanations of some of them like the seasons and the braille season.  There is also a comprehensive list of other things that occur in groups of a specific number offering an opportunity for the reader to create their own page, such as the  eight reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh, or the eight phases of the moon. The emphasis is always on how many work together to make one.

If I were still in a school this would definitely be the starting point for my maths program for the year to show the children how they are surrounded by numbers and other mathematical concepts, setting up an investigation that will resonate with them and provide purpose and focus for the year’s learning. 

 

 

 

The Twelve Underwater Days of Christmas

christmas_countdown_2016

 

 

 

 

The Twelve Underwater Days of Christmas

The Twelve Underwater Days of Christmas

The Twelve Underwater Days of Christmas

Kim Michelle Toft

Silkim Books, 2007

hbk 9780975839041

pbk 9780975839034

 

Take the traditional Christmas song, add the most magnificent creatures of the world’s oceans, include important information about those creatures and immerse the whole in the beautiful painted silk artworks of Kim Michelle Toft and you have, quite simply, my most favourite Christmas book ever!

Toft has used the words of The Twelve Days of Christmas not only to introduce readers to the dwellers of the deep, but has also built on the tradtional concept of gift-giving at this time to emphasise what a precious present these creatures  are – one that we may not enjoy for much longer if we don’t start to value it now.

“All of the magnificent creatures in this book rely on the ocean for their survival and many were once found in abundance.  This is no longer true.  Modern technology, huge increases in the world’s population and lack of management have resulted in some serious problems.  These problems include over fishing, pollution from poorly treated sewage, effluents from oil spoils, litter and global warmingwhich is contributing to the destruction of coral reefs all around the world.  It is up to nations,  governments and the will of the people to work together to help conserve these incredible gifts from nature.”

Thus, as well as being a stunning visual feast, there is a serious message that can be emphasised, enabling this book to sit well within any sustainability curriculum.  Even though students might not be able to replicate the artworks which are handdrawn with gold gutta on white silk then painted with brushes using silk dyes, the concept itself might inspire a class project of those things in the local region that might disappear if no action to preserve them is taken.

At the end of the book is an amazing poster containing all the creatures mentioned, and some versions have a CD of Toft’s lyrics sung by Lisa Hunt.  What a wonderful song to add to the Christmas repetoire.

Toft always writes and illustrates about her passion – the preservation of ocean life – and you can see all her publications here and as a bonus, here’s a full unit of work for The World that We Want.

She is one who must have a place on your library’s shelves – school or home.

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

 

Don't miss the poster!

Don’t miss the poster!

 

Twelve Little Festive Frogs

 

 

 

 

Twelve Little Festive Frogs

Twelve Little Festive Frogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelve Little Festive Frogs

Hilary Robinson

Mandy Stanley

Catch A Star, 2021 

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

The twelve little frogs who taught our young readers the initial poses of yoga are back in their version of the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas.  

However, their interpretation involves a giant game of pass the parcel in the woodlands, one that can go on and on even after the first 12 days! Like the song, and its predecessor, this is a counting book with lots of opportunities to predict what might come next as well as counting those who are already there. 

While it is set in the snowy regions of the northern hemisphere, it is an opportunity to talk about why what the frogs do is so different to our little ones’ experiences and perhaps even create an Australian version which would give it a wider audience and a meaningful activity for those last wind-down days!

Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas

Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas

Roald Dahl

Quentin Blake

Puffin, 2021

16pp., board book, RRP $A14.99

9780241492888

On the twelfth day of Christmas a grown-up gave to me…

12 books a-balancing

And so begins a less-than-traditional countdown to Christmas featuring many of Dahl’s most well-known and well-loved characters and Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations.  But as well as being a counting book, it is also the best introduction for little ones to the works of this much-loved author whose books, while largely written for more independent readers, will nevertheless entertain our youngest ones if they’re shared as a read-aloud.  No child should go through their young life without knowing what a whizz-popper is or dreaming of winning that golden ticket!

And when they’ve heard those classics, there are the other stories featured in this book to work through and then a whole host of others crafted by one of the most popular authors in a primary school library.  Can you think of a better, more enduring gift to give a little one? 

Noni the Pony Counts to a Million

Noni the Pony Counts to a Million

Noni the Pony Counts to a Million

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noni the Pony Counts to a Million

Alison Lester

Allen & Unwin, 2021

24pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99

9781760524395

Former Australian Children’s Laureate Alison Lester first introduced us to Noni the Pony in 2011 and it was shortlisted for the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year.  This was followed by another adventure Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach.in 2014 and then Noni the Pony Rescues a Joey  in 2018. So she has become a favourite of  many preschoolers over time, and this new adventure, written in rhyme and beautifully illustrated, will become a favourite too, particularly if today’s preschooler has an older sibling who remembers the earlier stories.

Little people know that learning to count is a sign that they are growing up and Noni the Pony is no different.  So as she watches her farm  friends play and frolic, she counts them – all the way to a million!! And while most counting books just introduce the words for one to ten, this one includes the concepts of dozens, hundreds, thousands and a million – as the stars shine overhead on what has been a very busy day.  

Featuring all the vital elements that help develop young readers’ concepts about print, this is one that they will be able to read to themselves within a very short while because the illustrations support the text so well, adding another layer to their belief that they will be a successful reader.  Who could ask for more?

Ten Little Yoga Frogs

Ten Little Yoga Frogs

Ten Little Yoga Frogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Little Yoga Frogs

Hilary Robinson

Mandy Stanley

Catch A Star, 2021

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9781922326126

Imagine learning some basic yoga poses at the same time as learning to count,  This is a bright, colourful, traditional rhyming counting book but with the twist of all the characters doing yoga and an invitation to the reader to join in.. 

One to one matching and the conservation of number are the foundation skills of early maths as children learn that no matter how it is arranged, a group of three (or whatever) is always a group of three, So we can’t underestimate the value of books such as these as they teach or reinforce the same concepts and eventually the child is mature enough to grasp them. At the same time, the rhyming format helps them predict the text so they have power over it. Win/win for littlies, in my opinion. 

 

Learning to Count (series)

Learning to Count

Learning to Count

10 Naughty Numbats

9781922265616

10 Bush Babies

9781922265623

10 Lively Lorikeets

9781922265630

Grace Nolan

Nancy Bevington

Big Sky, 2021

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

Learning to count, add and subtract is one of the key reasons little children believe they go to school and so this new collection of three readers endorsed by Australian Geographic will be a welcome addition to the resources to assist this . 

Focusing on 30 signature Australian creatures, each book encourages little ones to count, add or subtract as they use the rhyming text and charming illustrations for cues and clues.  Each illustration has a humorous twist to add to the fun of learning  and the concept for each page is clearly displayed as a conventional number story.  As well, there are extra activities at the end to reinforce the concepts and encourage the 1:1 matching and conservation of numbers that are the foundation skills of early maths.  

Never underestimate the power of these sorts of texts to encourage our little ones to learn much more than we ever set out to teach!

Slinky Malinki’s Christmas 123

Slinky Malinki's Christmas 123

Slinky Malinki’s Christmas 123

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slinky Malinki’s Christmas 123

Lynley Dodd

Puffin, 2020

20pp., board book., RRP $A16.99

9780143775355

What happens when one creeping cat gets amongst the decorations on the Christmas tree?

Young readers will delight in the chaos that is caused when Slinky Malinki, like so many pet cats, finds the baubles and bows on the Christmas tree too great a temptation.  But can you really get cross with him? 

Another addition to the collection of Hairy Maclary and his friends that have been giving joy for generations now – team it with Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers for the ultimate Christmas gift!