10 little circus mice by Caroline Stills and Judith Rossell

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Little Hare Books, 2013. ISBN 9781 921894 17 6.
(Age: 3+) Picture book. Counting book. Circus. A counting book with a difference, the 10 mice turn their household chores into practice for their circus events as they count down from 10 to one on the verso, and count up from 1 to 10 on the recto. Each page is full of colour and movement as each chore is turned into an event. 9 mice tidy their bedroom, while one mouse somersaults, 8 mice cook, while two mice juggle and so one. Each chore uses the same equipment as the circus practice, so children will love to see the things used in a different way on each page. Each page shows the mice using everyday things but of course on a smaller scale, so children again will be intrigued with the use made by the illustrator of pencils, cotton reels,  and cups and saucers to name but a few. Each double page has all ten mice shown somewhere on the page, so children will enjoy finding each of the group of ten.
The possibilities of using this book at home or in the classroom are endless. It fits into the themes of counting and circus, and also working together, physical activity, mice and doing chores. It readily adds another level of interest for children intrigued by smallness - children will love to search for tiny things they could use for a mouse house, and perhaps build up a room showing the things collected.
The first steps at addition too are given with the numbers counting down from 10 to 1 on the verso and building up from 1 5to 10 on the recto. A picture book to add to the few extolling the beginnings of maths.
Fran Knight