Review Blog

Apr 12 2013

10 little circus mice by Caroline Stills

cover image

Ill. by Judith Rossell. Little Hare, 2013. ISBN 9781921894176. hbk., RRP $A24.95.
This is a delightful counting book with a difference because each page focuses on the antics of all ten mice, but they are grouped differently on each page. So while nine mice tidy their beds, one somersaults; while eight cook, two juggle; while seven wash the cups, three spin the saucers. Little readers will delight in looking at the pictures and concocting the story to go with them as well as finding and following the antics of their favourites as they turn daily chores into fun and games.
While it could be used as a book to support early addition, it is also very useful for helping early mathematicians develop the concept of the conservation of number - that 10 is 10 is 10 no matter how it is grouped - in an engaging and intriguing way.
There is a lot of research which suggests that stories have more impact when they are supported by targeted, explicit activities and this book lends itself very well to these. Having the children make and decorate their own mice and then working with their peers to create number stories, record these and then add text to describe what they are doing is just one. Even though this might appear on the surface to be just another in a long line of counting books, it is, in fact, much more than that and is rich in possibilities to help both literacy and numeracy development. Share it with your kindergarten teachers - they will thank you for it.
Barbara Braxton

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