Review Blog

Mar 09 2016

Count on me: Practise your counting by Jeannette Rowe

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The Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760068844
(Ages: 3-6) This is part of a Giggle School range of preschool and early learning activity books for parents to use with young children. This is one of the first in the series - the other is Animal Alphabet. The books contain big, bright distinctive illustrations by Jeannette Rowe and were developed in consultation with an international education consultant. In the back of each book are some fantastic quick tips for parents about ways to support their child's early learning. There is a lot of variety in the activities throughout the book, which will help to keep children interested. It starts by explaining in appropriately simple language what numbers are for ('Numbers are for counting') and what they look like ('Numbers are both digits and words'). This is followed by lots of activities involving counting, recording, number recognition and counting in mixed groups. There is a page about digit formation where children are asked to trace over the numbers with their finger and then practise writing them but it seems inappropriately placed close to the back of the book rather than earlier on.
Most children will love the 'I Spy' type pages that have a full-page colour illustration and list things to be found within (eg. 3 striped fish, 1 octopus). A marketing point of these activity books is that they are full-colour, but this seems somewhat wasteful for books that may be used once and then discarded. However, if used well by parents, this could be a worthwhile tool (able to be used more than once), especially for basic counting skills and number recognition.
Nicole Nelson

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