Counting is one of those skills that is learned gradually by young children, starting with counting in every day life. How many apples are in the bowl? One, two, three! Count how many fingers and toes, buttons and shoes, books and stuffed animals? Enjoy learning about numbers and counting with your young child, and extend the fun by reading some of these number books together.
1. “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean. Pete has a coat with four buttons, then three, then two, then one. All of Pete’s buttons pop off until he finds one more unexpected button.
2. “Ten, Nine, Eight” by Molly Bang. Counting at bedtime from ten down to one with illustrations of items in a child’s room, starting with “ten small toes, all washed and warm.”
3. “I Spy Numbers” with rhymes by Jean Marzollo and photographs by Walter Wick. Visual puzzles about numbers with clues in the rhymes.
4. “The Grapes of Math” by Greg Tang, illustrated by Harry Briggs. The sequel to “Math Fables” this book encourages the reader to think and count in groups of numbers.
5. “26 Letters and 99 Cents” by Tana Hoban. Photographs of coins teach math concepts, then half way through the book, flip the book over and it continues with letters of the alphabet.
6. “Big Fat Hen” by Keith Baker. A re-working of the nursery rhyme, “One, two, buckle my shoe,” with baby chicks and colorfully illustrated hens.
7. “12 Ways to Get to 11” by Eve Merriam. Simple addition with clearly illustrated examples provide the opportunity to talk more about number combinations.
8. “Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On” by Lois Ehlert. Vivid colors and cut out circles will engage young children in counting.
9. “How Much is a Million?” by David M. Schwartz, illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Big numbers can be abstract, but this book puts them in perspective.
10. “One Grain of Rice: a Mathematical Folktale” by Demi. Greed, courage, and kindness come through in this story about sharing.